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Development of an Airborne Sensing Platform for Control of Kites


M. Rudin

Semester Thesis, FS15 (10409)

This thesis presents the development of an airborne sensing platform to improve autonomous control of kites for energy production. The control scheme in operation uses an estimate of the kite's heading angle to force the kite to fly figure-eight trajectories. As the current estimate of this feedback variable is using only ground-based line angle measurements subject to line dynamics and excessive filtering, substantial delay is introduced which affects control performance especially at long line length. Two alternative approaches are presented to estimate the kite's heading using the on-board sensors independent of the line dynamics to tackle this problem without changing the existing controller.

First the airborne sensing platform is introduced followed by the description and demonstration of telemetry, optimised to face communication challenges when flying at line lengths up to 150m. To this end, two different types of radios are explored. Then different state estimators are discussed focusing on GPS position and yaw rate measurements. Positional information is directly transformed to an estimate of the heading angle, whereas the biased yaw rate is fused with the ground-based line angle measurements. Sensor fusion is done using extended Kalman filtering with and without integration of information about present delay in the line angle measurements. Simulations based on a point-mass model demonstrate the performance of the filters. Finally data from field experiments are presented, captured with working telemetry. The results show substantial reduction of the undesired delay in heading angle and position estimate.

Supervisors: Henrik Hesse, Tony Wood, Roy Smith


Type of Publication:

(13)Semester/Bachelor Thesis

R. S. Smith

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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@PhdThesis { Xxx:2015:IFA_5243
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