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Open Platform KitePorts

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  • dave santos
      A KiteZone aggregates AWE, just as airports are aviation hubs. The AWE  gold-rush is on, we urgently need regional sites to gather
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 25, 2009
      A KiteZone aggregates AWE, just as airports are aviation hubs. The AWE "gold-rush" is on, we urgently need regional sites to gather community, develop safety, & share art, without interfering with existing air traffic. An Open Platform KitePort is a concept for a public KiteZone where many players operate kite elements in parallel. A KitePort serves as a cooperative umbrella for large capital-intense features like safety services, net-metered power generation, maintenance, & repairs.
      DIY KiteZones/KitePorts
      In previous posts AWE KiteZones were defined as structured airspace, anchor-fields, power aggregating nets, & so on. Seek out existing regional KiteZones. Kite sport & kite festival locations have established airspace presence that eases low altitude AWE acceptance. Aerostat sites, skydiving drop-zones, & ballooning centers can also fit-in a lot of AWE experimentation. Stay away from air traffic corridors, particularly airport approaches. Wind-Leases ease capital requirements. A KiteZone might generate high revenue with low-impact on the ground (esp. "hayfield" biomass), making it a desirable tenant.
      Small scale experiments & model aviation traditions practiced at low altitude are the current evolutionary paradise. "Bad wind" is actually best for debugging AWE. The toy kite zone, which varies by country from a low of 150ft (US) to a high of 100m (Ger.), is the proper nursery of most AWE research. If a concept can't be scale modeled at low altitude it has poor potential for major scaling up. A scaled-up KitePort could incubate small AWE on its grounds.
      KiteLab has two coastal locations developing to incubate pioneering AWE; in Texas (South Padre Island), & Washington State (Long Beach Peninsula). Anyone developing AWE is invited to visit or base at these experimental KitePorts. KiteLab is a pioneering AWE Fixed Base Operator (FBO), & will explore a complete range of services; hosting, flying, evaluating, maintenance/repair, training, consulting, etc.. 
      Future KitePorts
      A post-petroleum KitePort might have SkyElevators, laddermill-like cableway loops as common tethers that anyone can dock with & tug on or be towed aloft, as trade in AWE or raw "Lift". Commuter shuttle gliders could ride up to launch altitude & do "sled runs" for miles, returning by other SkyElevators. Skydiving might thrive from SkyElevators.
      Open Platform* SkyCables tugged by small private kite operators might power cities better & evolve more gracefully than centrally planned mono-systems. One might own & even live part-time aboard giant lifter/traction kites that migrate with seasonal winds between Open Platform KitePorts. A "communal" SkyCable could be an electrical conductor that multiple AWE generating units tie into, either persistently or momentarily discharging ultracapacitance.
      A long-term dream is that AWE operations co-exist with general aviation at the same airports as, say, a vast arch of energy kites over the primary runway. My airman dad, while confident AWE has a big place in the sky, worried that emergency landings & go-arounds might be endangered, so this idea is on hold; kites & planes won't mix well for a long time, until perfected ATC. Meanwhile we pursue what kite aviation can do now & how it can evolve into truly sustainable aviation.
      * Open Platform AWE- Revolutionary technologies like AWE develop fastest around an Open Platform specification. AWE consists of natural modules- wings, strings, work-cells, kite-zones, & so on. Properly defined module interfaces allow developers to design for integration with outside elements.

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