CoolIP index                                                          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 spring-mass medium.

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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