CoolIP index                                                          Most recent edit: Wednesday October 24, 2012

* See legal note below.

Perpetual Kite Materials Engineering

Large-scale AWES kites might have a very long service life. We know that large UHMWPE cables capable of mechanically transmitting many megawatts can last decades in service if protected by known means (chafing gear (sleeves), coatings, etc.). A giant soft-kite load-path network can be made of this stuff and be relied on to survive almost indefinitely.

The problem is the infill membrane, which in the current state of the art will "only" last about 15,000 hr in normal high-duty use. It should be practical to adhesively laminate new layers as old ones degrade, periodically exfoliating old membrane from one surface as the other surface is renewed. Many options exist as to the number and composition of sandwich layers, and how to adhere and ablate them.

This is a simple skin-like biomimetic method. One can even imagine an immortal bamboo and paper kite, always repaired and renewed, lasting "forever".

CoolIP*                      ~Dave Santos                 23Jan2012                     AWES5447

Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.       
All, send notes, drawings, and photographs!

Terms and aspects:   

Related links and concepts:

  • PKME   perpetual kite materials engineering

Commentary is welcome:

  • Proposed: Live blossoming vine that has a good L/D blossom; the living vine roots in soil; the vine has a main trunking tether up to the perpetual blossom; the DNA and structure of the blossom gives bladder chambers for LTA shaped bulbs in the wing set.   The vine is alive and reacts with sun, air, and soil to live and self-repair during the year. The living AWES produces fruit and sugars; worn parts are composted (methane obtained).  Don't all say "tree" all at once.  JoeF

*Legal Note: coolIP is hereby defined as a Creative-Commons Unported NonCommercial Share-Alike License, so now we are integrated with the latest standard cooperative IP model, but "coolIP" remains a nice shorthand.