Reeling Drogue with Furling Roller-Foot?
|Sept. 8, 2019
A mostly neglected AWES architecture is Reeling Drogues whose working cycle is: inflate, drag-gen-mode, collapse, return, repeat. Imagine a large frontal airspace completely filled with drogue, for potential power quite competitive with other leading schemes. A drogue is not a sexy wing, but could get the job done, much as jellyfish do.
Consider a vast Reeling Drogue with a foot-section of rollers, just as giant fishing industry bottom trawl-nets have rollers along the bottom of the mouth, as a COTS9 similarity case. Rolling downwind is not a key Reeling Drogue advantage, since a surface-wind drogue tends to float some in surface-effect lift.
The big win is the possibility to quickly and reliably drop the vast drogue into an orderly furled state along the roller-foot, to then haul back upwind fast and re-inflate smoothly. The roller-foot may be weakly powered for taxiing, to effectively act as a kite-buddy for deterministic AWES launching and landing, including winch-tow launch.