More Notes on Airborne Cable Transport (ACT) Tech
- Some of this is review for new Forum folks, but showing greater clarity and understanding by our AWES circle. The time is near for a fresh burst of tangible experimental progress-------------------Notes--------------------------Airborne Cable Transportion (ACT) already exists in modest versions. An ancient trick is to let a "messenger" sail ride up a kite line. Modern toy messengers cycle back and forth by a folding-sail flip-flop mechanism; a "passive control" AWES cycle. Kite hobbyists have worked out elaborate line-carriage affairs for photography and "candy drops". Its a fairly easy DIY technology that continues to develop. KiteLab Ilwaco has done dozens of small ACT experiments to refine methods. Helicopters have well-validated airborne winch-based airborne lifting in diverse pick-and-place roles.
The cost-performance success of fixed cableways suggest the potential for ACT to do incredible applications at reasonable cost. This page is a good survey point of fixed cable transport-
Airborne cableways will be generally more dynamic and often less able to maintain stable tension compared to fixed versions. Our "string rails" will commonly operate in swinging low-tension modes. The dynamic nature of tethered flight offers new opportunities with the challenges.
Megascale AWES need ACT as the " freight elevator" to carry maintenance workers and parts up and down the vast arrays (see shipwreck rescue schemes with kites). Long distance high speed ACT is more speculative, but quite easy compared to the most extreme ACT concept to be taken seriously- the Space Elevator. Mothrapolis will have a "string rail" link, as a flying dumbwaiter.
Major ACT architectures include fixed line, moving loop, and combinations of fixed and moving. Carriages are fixed or detachable in endless combinations. Some will be winged aircraft. Some will operate from shock-absorbing stand-off tethers from a long catenary-series line-path.Free-Flight levopters will also apply many of these methods in the most dynamic cases of all. Is cool to imagine free-flight flocks of levopter ships freely trading payloads. Nayies have suggestive cableway systems to exchange cargos between ships underway.