Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
Wind Energ. Sci., 4, 1–21, 2019
Wind Energ. Sci., 4, 1–21, 2019

Research article 08 Jan 2019

Research article | 08 Jan 2019

Aerodynamic characterization of a soft kite by in situ flow measurement

Johannes Oehler and Roland Schmehl

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Cited articles

Behrel, M., Roncin, K., Leroux, J.-B., Montel, F., Hascoet, R., Neme, A., Jochum, C., and Parlier, Y.: Application of Phase Averaging Method for Measuring Kite Performance: Onshore Results, Journal of Sailing Technology, 1–27, 2018. a, b, c
Borobia, R., Sanchez-Arriaga, G., Serino, A., and Schmehl, R.: Flight Path Reconstruction and Flight Test of Four-line Power Kites, Journal of Guid. Control Dynam., 41, 2604–2614,, 2018. a, b
Bosch, A., Schmehl, R., Tiso, P., and Rixen, D.: Nonlinear Aeroelasticity, Flight Dynamics and Control of a Flexible Membrane Traction Kite, in: Airborne Wind Energy, edited by: Ahrens, U., Diehl, M., and Schmehl, R., Green Energy and Technology, chap. 17, 307–323, Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, Germany,, 2013. a, b
Bosch, A., Schmehl, R., Tiso, P., and Rixen, D.: Dynamic nonlinear aeroelastic model of a kite for power generation, Journal of Guid. Control Dynam., 37, 1426–1436,, 2014. a
Breukels, J.: An Engineering Methodology for Kite Design, PhD thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands, available at: (last access: 2 January 2019), 2011. a, b
Short summary
We present an experimental method for aerodynamic characterization of flexible membrane kites by in situ measurement of the relative flow, while performing complex flight maneuvers. We find that the aerodynamics of this type of wing depend not only on the angle of attack, but also on the level of aerodynamic loading and the aeroelastic deformation. We recommend using the relative power setting of the kite as a secondary influencing parameter.