Most recent edit:
Monday December 17, 2012
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Shock Pulsing Membrane-Tether Systems
Opening shock of a high speed parachute is a spectacular instance of rapid
mechanical power transductance. A shocked drogue for an instant carries
high tension comparable to a far larger static drogue. We noted this
shock-effect before, but without spotting an AWES principle.
Reversing the inertial point-of-view, one sees that a high-speed jerk load
on an inflated low-stretch drogue creates a shock effect, with the
drogue's tensile resistance jumping exponentially with load velocity. A
ball of pressurized hot air and pocket of thin cold air is momentarily
created during this "pop" event, compounding the membrane tension spike.
In the instant of high-tension, the jerk force at the drogue leader can be
revectored by a corner block to another node at high efficiency. Many
other useful tricks seem possible, like passing along sharply pulsed
energy better, over longer distances, than a flabby pulsing can.
Many simple kite and parachute rigging details exist to spread or
concentrate shock loads. We can mostly dispense with common complications
used to buffer shock-loads (like opening shock mitigation in skydiving)
unless the shocks are just to violent, then these methods can serve to
tailor the shock pulse. This explosive popping is somewhat like the firing
of an IC engine. A snappy noise is a byproduct of a shock-based AWES. Big
soggy versions will sound like booming surf
Flipwings provide natural antinode shock jerks for drogues to act as shock
nodes, for a wind-driven harmonic. The shock pulse cycle can act as a sort
of mechanical "charge pump". An ideal overall kite system oscillation may
take the form of a resonant kite lattice with entrained bulk flow as the
Thermodynamic efficiency of the early prototypes (since 2008) is not that
impressive (the waste is hard to measure), but getting better, and the
unit energy seems dirt cheap.
Thanks for waiting on the next round of pictures and videos coming soon.
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