CoolIP index Most recent edit: Wednesday October 24, 2012
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Parafoil Air-Mass Inertial Dynamic
The air in an average living-room has a mass of about 50kg. Such air is effectively "weightless" and its mass grows at the cube of characteristic dimension. A large parafoil can contain many times this amount of air.
The great Peter Lynn Sr. has noted internal air-mass effects in parafoil scaling, since higher inertia must be countered by available actuation. If a giant soft wing dives at speed, it may not be stoppable before surface impact, due to mass/inertia. One can easily feel inertial effects grow with the size of the sport parafoil flown. All this is analogous to large ship handling.
In AWE we begin to see uses for high inertia. Flywheel inertia is a well-established mechanical principal in our ground workcells. An orbiting parafoil can also exploit the flywheel effect it is big enough (and supported from behind by a suitable pilot-lifter). The higher kite-looping inertia cyclically interferes with the heavier-than-air kite "gravity mass". This proportionally boosts the amplitude of a pumping power-cycle. Enhanced mass effects may be a key to practical phased harmonics of wing arrays.
As we ponder AWES applications of air mass/inertia, new questions emerge. For example, can a giant streamlined air bag serve as a basic reaction mass to create "solid" harmonic nodes in airborne lattice? Is there a significant "air-mass hammer" boost to "high-frequency" varidrogues?
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
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so now we are integrated with the latest standard cooperative IP model, but "coolIP" remains a nice shorthand.