P14462: Tethered Glider


Project Summary Project Information

Current wind turbines are limited in size because a large base is needed support the wind turbine blades. Low altitude winds are also not consistent, which causes the wind turbines to have high downtime. Higher altitudes have strong winds and are constantly flowing. If these winds can be harnessed, large amount of power will be able to be generated, which could seriously offset our fossil fuel use. New methods of harnessing these high altitude winds have recently been created with the use of tethered kites. These kites can theoretically reach high altitudes and the tension force in the tether can be used to generate power. Our project seeks to further the research for high altitude kites by creating a small-scale system that will measure the tension and orientation of an unpowered RC glider that is tethered to the base station. This system does not vary in tether length nor contain a generator, so our project will not generate power, but this system can be used to gain an understanding of the dynamics of tethered flight.

Project Name
Tethered Gliding for High Altitude Wind Energy
Project Number
Project Family
Energy and Sustainable Systems
Start Term
Fall 2013
End Term
Spring 2014
Faculty Guide
Edward Hanzlik
Primary Customer
Dr. Mario Gomes
Sponsor (financial support)

Team Members

From left to right: Paul Grossi, William Charlock, Sajid Subhani, Kyle Ball, Jon Erbelding, Matthew Douglas

From left to right: Paul Grossi, William Charlock, Sajid Subhani, Kyle Ball, Jon Erbelding, Matthew Douglas

Member Major Role Contact
Sajid Subhani Industrial Engineer Team Lead / Experimental Design Engineer sms4598@rit.edu
William Charlock Mechanical Engineer Controls Engineer wrc5211@rit.edu
Paul Grossi Mechanical Engineer Aerodynamic Engineer pag9992@rit.edu
Jon Erbelding Mechanical Engineer Structural Engineer jae5842@rit.edu
Kyle Ball Mechanical Engineer Design Engineer kab9479@rit.edu
Matthew Douglas Mechanical Engineer Simulation Engineer / Pilot mrd1561@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Planning & Execution

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Detailed Design

Project Review

Planning & Execution

Build, Test, Document

Project Review

Final Presentation

Technical Paper