Through simulation, an automated control system for a single-line maneuverable kite is developed for application in kite wind energy production. The kite used in this study is a small, tension-controlled, single-line kite, commonly known as a fighter kite. These kites have a simple design, but flying them requires complex control of line tension and visual input. At low tether tension, the kite is unstable; spinning about the tether. Increasing tension in the tether causes the kite to deform and fly in the direction it was facing. Experienced fliers can produce intricate maneuvers and often participate in competitions with other fliers. A simplified physical and behavioral numeric simulation of the kite's dynamics was created and shown to closely approximate the actual kite's flight characteristics. This model was used to develop successful control algorithms for autonomous flight. Information of the kite's state and orientation used by the controller was gradually reduced to that which is physically measurable from the ground. An experimental test rig was designed and constructed for future testing in real wind conditions.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wind energy conversion systems--Mathematical models; Kites--Dynamics--Mathematical models; Wind energy conversion systems--Automatic control--Mathematical models

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Gomes, Mario


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TK1541 .D66 2013


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