CoolIP index Most recent edit: Monday February 03, 2014 SearchSite
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Standardized KiteLine Segments
A lesson from the AWE Encampment is the value of standardized lines on a kitefarm. When one line of a set needs replacing, a standard line is swapped. A quasi-standard exists with multi-line sets that come with all lines the same length, and most power-kites accept them, but lengths vary at the whim of the supplier. A kiteline segment standard is needed for technical kiting like AWES R&D.
The Encampment hay-farm environment requires us to mow "aisles" in the waist-high hay, for easy kite ground-handling. Carefully planned, this hardly impacts hay production (~1/500 loss of hay output). We learned radial aisles from classic weather kite aerial photos, but then added concentric aisles whose center-distances matched the kiteline/bridle length, to allow the kites to land anywhere in a mowed radius.
The following dimensions are suggested for experimental small AWES fields- narrow aisles every fifty-feet, to match FAA conspicuity-marker requirement. Thus the kites would also end up on 50ft points, mowed a bit wider. A comparable metric standard would apply; the use of ft is just a legacy aviation regulatory norm.
A ongoing KiteLab study and planning effort is high-altitude kite-train trials. Once again, a standardized set of kitelines is desirable, graded by working-load attenuated with altitude. A similar load-spectrum exists between low and high wind operations, and kite fliers often change lines as appropriate.
The interconnects between lines can be ~simple~ knots; like loops larks-headed over stopper-knots. Its skilled work to create sleeved and sewn line ends that do not weaken lines. "Spiders" are star-like interconnects made of string, to make complex airborne string structures.
A special opportunity exists at the interconnects to host added devices, like train-kites, wind-sock markers, and payloads of all kinds. A standard would need to account for the extra length added, with standard "short" versions of the line-segments.
Reeling systems have different kiteline demands, with different standards needed. Special segments of thicker-line would allow for rough capstan usage along the flying-line (chafing gear).
Further kiteline-standard refinements include color-coding, bar-codes, RFID, etc., to help manage a large inventory of kiteline segments. The specs and history of each line would be tracked, to account for normal derating over time, and other factors.
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
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