Robust Automatic Operation of Inflatable Tethered Wings for Power Generation

Within the scope of this project a robust and fault-tolerant control architecture for automatic launching and landing of a tethered membrane wing will be developed.


Many AWE concepts employ flexible membrane wings for the generation of traction power. The inherent deformability of these membrane structures introduces a challenge for robust automatic operation under all likely conditions. Of particular importance are the critical phases of launch and retrieval of the membrane wings. The scope of this assignment is to critically assess existing flight control algorithms for the launching and landing procedure by means of simulations as well as experiments using the existing technology demonstrator of TU Delft. The goal is to develop a robust and fault tolerant control architecture that enables automatic launching and landing with a high degree of safety and reliabilty.

PhD Researcher

M.Sc. and B.Sc. in aeronautical engineering. Both degrees from TU Munich with majors in flight system dynamics, flight physics and automatic control.


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.