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Lift Mass and Then Drop It

At the fundamental level, let's note that "dropping" is a function of available lifting power (the primary tool). Lets also never forget that Mass at Altitude  is Storage, potentially on a grand scale. Minimum Sink Rate (in the absence of sustaining lift) is an important operational number.

At a more specific method level, at the AWE Encampment this summer, many of us trained lofting masses under a sport parafoil using a PTO. This is a good method for moving materials up and over obstacles. A DIY bambi-bucket could irrigate or recycle hydro.

The first finding from testing was that the swinging mass must harmonize with the sweeping, but this is very natural and easy to learn. The second lesson is that the mass can be placed with natural precision toward the side and top (margin) of the kite window, but its hard to keep station, or place a mass down, neatly, when stalled or sweeping fast in the power zone. Good four-line technique can manage a normal backwards landing direct downwind.

Overall, flying a loaded kite is not much harder, but good piloting is highly favored. The pilot quickly learns to stay away from dynamical sticky-states, where the kite stalls under influence from the mass, with a sudden loss of control likely. At least its usually possible to recover some and make a safe forced-landing.


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

  • Terms and aspects:   
  • Related links and concepts:
    • Water reservoirs at altitude store energy
  • Commentary is welcome:
    • This topic is partly old matter. DaveS in some prior post also did some calculations on this topic of lifting mass and then dropping the mass. This thread invites revisiting the sector and furthering it also.

      There are many ways to have kite systems lift mass and then drop the mass. The mass could be strictly lifted by the tether set by lifting wings of a kite system; and then drop the mass. The dropped mass may be shaped for niche purposes which we may visit soon. Or the lifted mass might be inside wings of a kite system.

      Or the mass lifted by be on a hillside on rails while the kite system causes the mass to go up the hillside rail to some high point. And the purposes of doing such may vary widely to fulfill niche purposes, even to let the mass drop to low potential while driving an electric generator via cable.

      Others may describe more lift-and-drop scenes.

      Now for a pause on the dropped mass:
      The mass has been given potential energy derived from the kite system's mining the wind's kinetic energy. How to spend that potential energy? Here is a short list to be expanded by adventuring workers:
      1. Let the dropped mass be a powered aircraft. Let the powered aircraft go on its way for its mission.
      2. Let the dropped mass be glider with handsome L/D; let the glider be on its way to fulfill its mission.
      3. Let the dropped mass be a skydiver or a team of skydivers.
      4. Let the dropped mass be a hang glider. Let the hang glider be on its way to fulfill various missions.
      5. Let the dropped mass be fire retardant shaped as a glider with remote release as the mass glides over target areas.
      6. Let the dropped mass be seeds or treeling darts for planting in special lands.
      7. Let the dropped mass be rescued persons that had been lifted out of tight spaces or confined spaces.
      8. Let the dropped mass be water for wetting or misting or cooling or cleaning or reformation, etc. purposes.
      9. Let the dropped mass be shaped in a way that will hammer something upon impact. Hammer piling. Hammer things to be broken, Hammer soils to compact the soils.
      10. Let the dropped mass be connected to a line which line is held up by an aerostat; and then as the mass drops let the dropping action drive a generator or pump or cause a towing of a vehicle, say a lauch of an AWES wing or a hang glider or a stuck car.
      11. Let the dropped mass be connected to a thrill-seeker's bungee line.
      12. Let the dropped mass have a turbine aboard itself; during the drop let the turbine make electricity to run onboard instruments or/and charge batteries.
      13. Let the dropped mass be atmosphere-altering particles for specific purpose.
      14. Let the dropped mass be that which a fire-fighting commander would use to help set fires that help him or her to finally contain the fire being fought.
      15. Let the dropped mass be water to set into a high reservoir for various reasons including hydroelectric generation, potable water works, industry, recreations, recharge streams, etc.
      16. Let the dropped mass be a line buggy for entertainment.
      17. Let the dropped mass be live fish to populate remote ponds.
      18. Let the dropped mass be food, prizes, tools, clothing, medicine, rescue gear, shelters, blankets.
      19. Let the dropped mass be fuel for the fetch of extant powered aircraft.
      20. ?

      After dropping lifted mass, then the kite system might go lift some more mass. Again and again.
      ~ JoeF, 28 Oct 2013.
    • Have a loop held by a kite system; let that loop dip in a ground-level pond. Let the upper winds drive the loop. Let the the wetted part of the loop be taken upwards; at the upper pulley there will be compression on the wetted string and water will drip to a holder or to the atmosphere.   This process takes water up to to altitude. If the drip falls to an upper reservoir then energy is stored.  ~ JoeF, 28 Oct 2013
    • Have a loop held by a kite system; let that loop be wetted in the clouds. Let the wet loop be a provider of water wanted on the ground.   There are other ways to get cloud water to the ground from use of a kite system; e.g., collect water and then drop the water. Have the kite system operate to maximize water collection from cloud and then drop the water down the lines in packets or down a hollow line or by glided packets.  ~ JoeF, 28 Oct 2013
    • Note that a bambi-bucket may have a very long line that may be operated in different ways while a main lifter kite system stays flying in upper winds; that is, the wings of the kite system need not return to the ground during cycles of bambi-bucket retrieves and let-outs occur.  ~ JoeF, 28 Oct 2013
    • AirborneWindEnergy/conversations/messages/11161  Dropping items from kites      27Jan2014
    • Hold a drone in a kite system until the drone is wanted for special mission; then drop the drone. 
      ~JoeF 27Jan2014   



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