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AWE Knowledge Project (call for participation and early signup)

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  • dave santos
    Airborne Wind Energy, as a professional field, urgently needs foundational science-engineering research across the entire concept space, much as NACA and
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 28, 2011
      Airborne Wind Energy, as a professional field, urgently needs foundational science-engineering research across the entire concept space, much as NACA and similar bodies once set aeronautics on a sound basis. The missing program will not materialize by itself; but must be assembled from the human and capital resources at hand. This is a draft AWEIA US Chapter initiative, but would spin-off from AWEIA, as its own entity. Airborne Wind Energy Knowledge Project (AKP) is proposed as a working name. 
      Scattered starts have been made, JoeF's tireless work, NASA's bibliography and preliminary study, the conference proceedings, Gerard Hassan, the AWEIA EU AWE Dossier, and so on, but so much more is needed. JoeF is already the AWE knowledge hub, an ideal choice to support in continued efforts toward a good conclusion. JoeF will need professional follow-on collaboration to sort thru his trove of information and organize it into a true knowledge-base. Roddy has stepped up and started work. RobertC has an AWE R&D plan in draft.
      Several academic and private labs already do broad experimental AWE studies, and they comprise the base to build upon. Many others are expert at their particular AWECS concept. All these teams can share a common pool of support to integrate their work as a comprehensive testing program. Internal competition can drive cost-effective progress. An additional layer of third party validation studies by Academia and independent experts will draw the sound conclusions that investment can build on.
      Comparative testing is essential to generate the data. Standard load metering and other engineering tests should be designed and supervised by a professional aerospace Test Engineers. Our ad hoc global AWE test site network covers the spectrum of operational conditions. Both cultural and natural factors count. Adverse conditions will speed learning; like four season experience, storms, low wind, and turbulence as the best sort of test conditions. Building the first one hundred thousand data-instrumented flight hours should be a consensual goal. 1/4 scale prototypes are proposed for serious comparative prototype testing, but even smaller 1/16 scale testing reveals many lessons far faster and cheaper than larger work. Scale winners are likely small-scale products. Effective utility-scale prototypes could be the final deliverable of the AKP, after perhaps a decade of intense progress.
      We should not expect nor seek a single governmental agency, existing NGO, or private venture to shoulder the AKP job, but try to interconnect participation of all available granting and AWE domain agencies within an independent R&D cooperative (open consortium). Support from EU Union and US Gov sources are a start, but equal participation by non-profit institutions and private investment is desirable, without distortion of the testing by any party. The Cooperative Roddy envisions might be a key player. Existing commercial interests with a large stake include WOW, AWEC, Google, SkySail's German Conglomerate, and many more. They should be polled for input and given project responsibilities. Sharing of internal data on some agreed basis would be wonderful, with incentives.
      The deliverables from a sucessful AKP will be a huge knowledge harvest, including ever better conferences, standard data sets, tech reports, handbooks, instructional media, and reference designs.
      This is first notice of AWEIA US intent to initiate the AKP and a call to all interested parties to sign-up. Please help in the design of the AKP. Contact the Forum, AWEIA, or any of the key person to get going.
      Note to Matt and Mark (ARPA-E Points of contact)- This is a heads-up as to what AWEIA's official recomendation to ARPA-E will look like, as part of the "constructive dialog" proposed.
      Note to JohnO, AWEIA President Pro-Tem- This is the US AWEIA initiative outline as proposed internally to AWEIA. Please add any international input as it occurs.
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