We flew the G9 rokkaku kite at the runway, and again at the parking lot outside the shop, to test the angle of attack adjuster that Don and Jamie have been working on. The adjuster operates by changing the length of the back lines. While flying, the front lines take most of the load–the back lines take only about 25%. Shortening the back lines changes the angle of attack so that there is less load on the flying lines, which is helpful for reducing the force on a winch when reeling in the kite. Meanwhile, lengthening the back lines would change the angle of attack to project more kite area and increase the kite’s power, in order to lift a camera or other object.
The adjuster is made from a gear box and receivers for toy cars and airplanes (see 1/4 and 12/15 posts) and is currently operated using a toy airplane remote-control antenna. Jamie is working on software for the Android phones to take over control of the adjuster, and after we have verified the concept using this prototype, we will design a more compact and waterproof version.
The adjuster worked on the ground, but had trouble under load and at much distance from the controller. We’ll make some adjustments and try again with a different controller. We also experienced some problems with the kite leaking, which eventually ended our test. We used the G9 kite because it is currently our most stable rokkaku model.
More: Electronics and Software Development