System Identification, Pattern Analysis and Control Algorithm Design of a Rigid Wing Airborne Wind Energy System via an Optimal Control Approach

Giovanni Licitra

University of Freiburg - Ampyx Power B.V.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017, 11:00

Room 02-012, Georges-Köhler Allee 102, Freiburg 79110, Germany

In the landscape of innovative renewable energy systems, Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) is a novel, emerging technology. AWE promises to harvest energy from wind with both lower installation costs and higher capacity factors compared to conventional wind turbines, up to a level that could render AWE even more economically viable than fossil fuels. Despite the fact that the idea of using tethered aircraft  for wind power generation appeared for the first time in the late 1970s, it is only in the last decade that academia and industry made substantial progress in turning the idea into a practical implementation. The postponement of AWE technology is mainly due to the significant complexities in terms of control, modelling, identification, materials, mechanics and power electronics. Furthermore, these systems need to fulfil high level of reliability while simultaneously operating close to optimality. 

In this talk, we show how to address several issues related to AWE systems via an optimal control approach underlying challenges, physical limitations and model assumptions. 
The talk is divided into: 
    1. Introduction of the case study 
    2. System identification via flight tests
        2.1 Convectional manoeuvrer design
        2.2 Optimal manoeuvrer Design 
        2.3 Parameter Estimation (grey-box approach)
    3. Pattern Analysis via Optimal Control Problem
    4. Control Architecture Design
        4.1 Remarks for Model Predictive Control Algorithms

The presented work is entirely based on the 2nd prototype high lift, rigid wing autonomous aircraft designed by Ampyx Power B.V. and augmented with experimental results. Ampyx Power adopts the so called lift mode strategy where the airplane delivers a high tension on the tether which is anchored to a ground-based generator.

For more details see:
    Short Intro:
    Operation mode: