Current students


Section: Systems and Control

Major Research topic:
Control of Safety-critical Autonomous Systems in Uncertain Environment: the case of airborne wind energy systems

Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) refers to the use of a tethered aircraft to generate electrical power from wind in height above conventional wind turbine height (200 meter altitude and above). AWE is getting more attention from the research community1 because at higher altitude the wind energy density increases2, and the availability is also higher. Combined with low predicted capital costs, this feature makes AWE Systems appealing and motivates research in this field3.
However, fully autonomous continuous operation for AWE system has not been achieved yet4. AWE systems are safety-critical, and operate in a fixed region to the earth (horizontal and vertical foot-print), which make them subject to a variety of weather conditions. This research is concerned with AWE systems as ‘Safety-critical Autonomous System operating in Unknown Environment’, and aims to investigate a systematic methodology to design such systems.
In this research, state-of-art control methodology used in AWE should be investigated from safety-critical system design prospective. A detailed simulation model for the system will be derived to investigate continuous operation, and to study the effects of faults and the design of suitable fault detection and isolation techniques and recovery actions to increase the system resilience.

1 L. Fagiano and M. Milanese, Airborne Wind Energy: an overview, 2012 American Control Conference, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Montréal, Canada June 27-June 29, 2012.
2 Philip Bechtle, Mark Schelbergen, Roland Schmehl, Udo Zillmann, Simon Watson, Airborne wind energy resource analysis, Renewable Energy,Volume 141, October 2019, Pages 1103-1116, 2019.
3 Roland Schmehl, Airborne Wind Energy Advances in Technology Development and Research, Springer . 2018.
4 EU publications, Study on challenges in the commercialization of airborne wind energy systems, 2018.