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Need help with an Engineering Project!

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Hey guys! My name is Jason and I'm currently in my 3rd year of Mechanical Engineering. I have an on-going project at the moment. 

The design brief is this:

"There are many applications for airbourne devices including kite aerial photography or kite fishing. A major challenge is providing the necessary initial lift for systems which may have additional weight to reach height with constant winds (>50m). The objective of this project is to design a low cost, low weight, low power system which can provide the necessary initial lift in the absence of wind on the ground."


My questions to anyone reading this is, 
What are your needs when it comes to initial lift? 
How do you cope with low winds? 
If there was such a system to launch it to 50m, what requirements would you like it to have? 

Thanks guys!

Jason.

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To lift a kite with little to no wind essentially you have to move the kite through the air. By running with it or letting out a lot of line then reeling the line in. The kites sail opposes air pressure and rises accordingly. This is how we fly indoors.

I have seen a kite assisted by a helium balloon in ultra low wind conditions too. The balloon lifts it to an altitude where the wind can generate the necessary lift.

I'm sure some people with real experience will chime in.


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Here are a couple disorganized thoughts :)

Wind is more stable and usually stronger higher up. Once the kite is past 20m (or some arbitrary height depending on geography and weather) it can be much easier to continue to rise.

Dual Line kites can launch in 0 wind maybe 8M just by sweeping your arms back, but usually require you to walk backwards to get higher.

One problem there is if you stand still to launch a dual line you lose tension on your lines when the kite is at the top of its arc unless you step back a bit. Some sort of automatic tensioner that keeps line tension present but minimal might be cool.

These two videos on king of random always make me think of a slingshot kite launch.





Sent from my SM-G935W8 using KiteLife mobile app

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you may slingshot a kite just if is a glider and after initial launch you will not use lines. in any angle you will launch the kite the lines will become to short or if you chose to make the launch with slack lines is no way to know how much the kite will rise at maximum slingshot altitude to have the exact length of lines and that because you will encounter wind on consecutive launches at different altitudes. balloons already mentioned is a viable option and now with all drones models you have a second option but you will need a second person for controller. if you problem is just for single line kites you may do that alone with the kite anchored and detach the drone or if the kite is having enough lift you may let the drone on of mode

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Use an electric winch and braided steel cable. This type of system is used to launch radio-controlled gliders, usually to about 300 feet. 

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may be use a Co2 canon or any other launch systems but the problem are the lines if is more then one and is no way to predict the wind speed and direction after launch to may control the kite.the shot will be or to low and the kite will fall before to be controlled or overshot damaging lines,kite or both

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Hi Jason,

go onto the Kitebuilder's Dot com forum and engage Harold Ames (Kitesquid is his handle).  

He made kite for the US military to lift test instruments/targets on a ship and it was framed in Revolution spars an inch in diameter (42 of 'em!)  It flew on a motorized spool containing approx. 10 thousand feet of 300# spectra I believe.  The kite shape is called a Dunton Taylor,... kind of triangular box kite mounted onto/in front of a delta wing.  Here's the plan, if made from Icarex fabric it will fly indoors (very well) and still handle 25-30 mph howling breeze without changing anything!

http://www.richmondairforce.com/Files/DTplans.pdf

Kitesquid's D/T kite was some 22 feet across the bottom edge instead of a the distance between your elbows though. It replaced a balloon, but more importantly eliminate the need for Helium (10 tank's worth)!  Tested behind a speed boat at 55 mph as the winds are stronger at sea and higher up.

Lift can be created by making the kite shape efficient and material used super light weight if you want to fly in low wind. (the Manta)

A big Genki, or the flow-form foil would lift pounds of photographic equipment easily.  A 252 square foot Sutton will lift two tails weighing 25 pounds each, 45 foot spin socks built on hula hoops. 

Good luck with your mission. -plm

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