CoolIP index                                                          Most recent edit: Saturday May 25, 2013

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"Dog Trolley" AWES Method

 A common idea in AWE is to operate a kite from a cable-run. Our best-known case is Dave Lang's 2004 expert elicitation of AWES concepts from Joe Hadzicki and Jose Sainz, whose ideas involved a wheeled carriage constrained to run crosswind along a tensioned cable segment or loop. A common similarity case is the "dog trolley", where the dog acts to move the trolley as the kite would, so lets call this the Dog Trolley Method.

The advantages are both obvious and subtle. The cable serves as a high-strength guide that resists the trolley carriage being pulled down-field by surge. A cable-run is far cheaper and more flexible than a track for this. A cable can be fast and easily set crosswind from a fixed workcell center by belaying the other end about an anchor circle or arc. The major variants more-or-less correspond to the common rigging options used for logging ropeways (covered in old posts as aerial AWES methods), with the main difference being the ground run opposed by lifting force (compared to a flying trolley carriage with a suspended log load). This is also a short-haul kite transportation means, such as for driving a ferry-boat back and forth across a water crossing. Loads could also be hauled uphill, like a water truck in a pumped hydro scheme.

Strangely, we are not yet aware of anyone testing the Dog Trolley method with kites except for bird-scaring and toy line-messengers. At last year's Encampment we tested a belay cable on Mothra ponderously hauled by a worm gear, but this actuator hardly counts as a high-speed kite trolley AWES. So this year we have designed some new experiments based on true high-speed (zip-line) trolley. Driving generators in various configurations will be tried, with plowing a furrow as KiteAg as a specific experimental app.

This is a dangerous method requiring great caution to keep clear of the fast moving trolley mass and keeping the cable/anchor within its safety margin. Never hang out "in the bight" of tensioned cable where a sudden failure could mean death.

Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.       
All, send notes, links, drawings, papers, videos, plans, safety-critical findings, and photographs!

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