A different approach to achieve the same result

I came across this project on the GrabCAD blog.

They’ve got an interesting approach, but they’re using helium to get it off the ground, and there’s a very limited supply on this planet. (And yes, they could use hydrogen, but that would add a whole raft of other safety/engineering issues, cf. Hindenberg.)

It might be worth getting in touch with Altaeros, if only to help avoid you getting hit with patent claims in future, as well as so they can see that there’s some prior art in Europe.

Since they’re part funded by MIT, and the original founder was working at SpaceX, there’s the possibility of alternative funding sources for Kiderwind. Would the ESA be interested?

Hi Billy,

I don’t know about funding (but it’s an important question).

Altaeros is a famous project (among many others in the field, as I discovered two years ago at the previous Airborne Wind Energy Conference http://awec2015.tudelft.nl/).

As far as I am concerned, this project does not bring the main asset of kites which is to be able to fly crosswind to be able to retrieve wind from a larger air volume. Moreover, the helium envelop as it is developed brings drag but no lift due to wind. As a result, I am unsure this prototype behave well in strong winds (there is no or little wind in the videos I have seen so far).