Tether Physics

Articles, links, notes, and discussions for the physics of AWE aspects are invited from interested scientists, engineers, technicians, mechanics, specialists, and kite engineers:  Notes@EnergyKiteSystems.net   or tethers@hawpa.net

  • General notes
  • TetheredTurbines
  • Space tethers will have lessons for AWE tethers
  • Keyword set for tether physics
  • Magenn's conductive tether (click to the part of the Timeline "The Wire"    "The copper-wrapped Vectran tether proved more efficient and lifted six cars into the air with their headlights on. The team had found the material with which to make their tether"
  • Vectran
  • DyneemaŽ
  • Ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)
  • CNT   carbon nanotube
  • Ever heard of "fractons"? A natural wind field is a fracton...
              Here is my current understanding of "AWE Phononics"
    Phonon theory is the missing link as to how "tug" of a tether (or "shove" of a push rod) transmits energy over distance & allows comparison of tug with electrical & electromagnetic transmission. While most current phonon science is concerned with normal modes of phononic vibration between atoms in a crystal lattice, phonon theory extends to aggregated atomic vibration into the macroscales of AWE tethers.

    Beginning at the atomic scale of our kite line, a single bond in a UHMWPE molecule, we can quantify how much tug is phonon transmission to how much energy is dissipated into the environment as convective & radiative energy. This is a sound basis for calculating the total thermodynamic performance of our tether.

    Wave mechanics remains the most natural formalization of most macro tether behavior, but phonon theory is a promising tool to understand some of the weird large-scale vibrational physics realworld tethers seem to exhibit.  ds   9jan2009