Jamie has augmented our kite inflation controller, which monitors a kite’s inflation levels and maintains a designated psi by inflating the kite further, in case of a leak or temperature change, for example. The new electronics add precise pressure measurement, a radio link to the ground, and remote pressure control. In the photos, the system is inflating a kite section to 8 psi. Our smaller kites take higher inflation pressures, up to 9 psi, whereas the larger kites take lower pressures, 2-3 psi. This system is splashproof, but not waterproof, which is sufficient now that our launch and retrieval procedures largely keep the kite out of the water.
The graph shows the pressure as the small kite section is inflated and then deflated. Inflation pressure is maintained by an air pump and control loop in the device. The realtime pressure data is relayed to the boat logger over a Zigbee wireless link, over which the inflation setpoint can be controlled while the kite is in flight. During kiteboat tests, knowing the inflation pressure will help us to understand and tune the behavior of the kite under load with a precision that has never before been possible.Return to News
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