Project in progress

Kite Power Autopilot

Control system for stable kite flight targeting airborne wind power generation. Hack-rig an autonomous kite, motor control, and webcam.

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Components and supplies

About this project

Design Overview

Kite:Existing 2-line or 3-line powerkite (I've got a Rush 300 kite to start with).
Flown by manipulating the stock kite bar.Kite Bar:Cable 'turns' the kite bar to steer the kite.  Freely moves to follow the tension of the lines.
Connected so pulling in one side lets out the other.  Only single directional control needed.
Control Arm:Linear actuator (stepper motor driving a block on a ballscrew) with about 9" max travel.
Pulley system to translate linear actuator to ~20" of motion on the cable.

Controller Driver:Microcontroller driving the linear actuator (Arduino) handles inputs from the computer.
Translates motion requirements into step commands.  Accelerates/decelerates to damp velocity changes.

Image Tracking:Webcam attached to PC captures kite in flight.  Image recognition software figures out (approximate) position.
Translate these into "turning" commands sent to the controller driver.

New Parts!!

Source Code

Work-in-progress on the actuation rig.

Code

Comments

Team members

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Alex Ray
  • 1 project
  • 2 followers
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Michael Bella
  • 1 project
  • 4 followers
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Ken Taylor
  • 1 project
  • 4 followers

Published on

March 27, 2014

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