Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) is an emerging  renewable energy technology that aims to replace the use of fossil fuels for energy production on an economical basis. A characteristic feature of the various AWE concepts is the use of tethered flying devices to access wind energy at higher altitudes where the wind is more consistent.


The AWESCO project funds 14 PhD researchers at different places in in Europe to work on "Airborne Wind Energy System Modelling, Control and Optimisation”. It is coordinated by the Technical University of Delft, runs from 2015-2018, and has a total budget of €3.4 million that is provided by  the European Union within Horizon 2020 and by the Swiss Federal Government.

Three of the AWESCO researchers are employed at Syscop: Andrea Zanelli, Paul Thedens, and Rachel Leuthold. Their research topics include:

  • Fast numerical methods for the optimal control of airborne wind energy systems
  • durable structural reinforcements of large-scale fabric kites
  • low-order aerodynamic models in the optimal design of multiple-kite airborne wind energy systems

Further, Syscop and the Uni-Freiburg host the 7th Airborne Wind Energy Conference (AWEC 2017) on 5-6 October 2017.