Three K-Prize Categories (1/10, 1/4, and Full
Scale) with User Group Umbrellas
There will be no quick aviation contest by
ARPA-E, because such contests require domain mastery to do right. There is
still great merit in well designed competition with a scientific bonanza,
so we continue to study this possibility, as the experts. Our open source
working name for a "best-standards" contest design is "K-Prize."
Instead of defining winners as the first to generate a certain power-out
for a specified period, a more natural aviation contest design is to
define competition classes by operational ceiling, weight, and velocity
limits. Winners are determined by relative performance within these
classes. This arrangement is inherently suitable to collect good data
across a large pool of designs. The scale classes below neatly fit the
FAA's current partitioning of altitude for AWE.
2000 ft is set in stone (after FAA obstruction regs) as the early AWE era
standard commercial ceiling (R&D ops will go far higher). Let us call this
"Full-Scale AWES" as sort of major-league utility/commercial scale where
only "professionals" operate. EAA would be an ideal aviation group
umbrella for this scale, under LSA velocity-mass rules.
500 ft is the current FAA temporary ceiling for our experiments.
This slice of airspace would be "Quarter-Scale AWES", nicely constrained
within AMA altitude, weight, and speed rules.
200 ft is the "One-Tenth-Scale AWES" bunny slope for small safe
AWES experimentation under hybrid AMA/AKA rules. School children could do
wonders at this "toy" scale, but quite powerful kite energy rigs can also
operate at this scale largely unregulated.
By tying each competition class to a suitable user association, a ready
source of help, knowledge, self-regulation, safety training, and even
cheap liability insurance is provided. Join the appropriate user group for
your AWES R&D (tolerable commercial conditions apply) and help make the
new aviation types welcome.
~Dave Santos 23Dec2011
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
All, send notes, drawings, and photographs!
Terms and aspects:
Academy of Model Aeronautics
American Kitefliers Association
Experimental Aircraft Association
- ops operations
Federal Aviation Administration
- One-Tenth-Scale AWES
- Quarter-Scale AWES
- Full-Scale AWES
Commentary is welcome:
- Experience, knowledge, skill