Durable Structural Reinforcements of Large Scale Fabric Kites

The mechanics of large scale kites are strongly effected by the deformation at high wing loads. Numerous challenges have to be solved before increasing the kite size to more than 1000 m2 which is necessary to generate reasonable power with high altitude kite wind power systems.


The project consists of the analysis and optimisation of fabric reinforcements used in ram-air kites. The analysis is done with a full 3D Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) to determine the stress state in the kite. With the correct stress states the position of the reinforcements, which are sewn onto the fabric, can be optimised to reduce stress concentrations and minimise the structural weight. Additionally, the cross ports can be included in the optimisation to further reduce the structural weight.

PhD Researcher

MSc in Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft and MSc in Wind Energy at Technical University of Denmark (DTU) within the European Wind Energy Master (EWEM) program to obtain a double degree, Delft, the Netherlands (2015).

BSc in Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft, the Netherlands (2013)


Dr.-Ing. Roland Schmehl is Associate Professor at Aerospace Engineering, PhD in computational fluid dynamics, postdoc at ESTEC/ESA, experience in multiphase flow, liquid spray physics, low-emission combustion, rocket propulsion, multiphase flow, fluid structure interaction, head of the Kite Power Research Group at TUD since 2009, co-editor of first scientific textbook on Airborne Wind Energy published by Springer, member of program committee of Airborne Wind Energy Conferences 2011 and 2013, speaker at TEDx conference.