Makani’s first commercial-scale energy kite


The forecast is not very much wind at all small chance we’ll catch it on the way up. This is the largest energy kite our team has tested so far. Today is the first time the team is going to test it without a safety constraint line. It’s very exciting, because even though it’s a very simple concept and all of the parts it’s made of are technologies that are used elsewhere the avionics, the control system—it’s the first time all the systems are talking to each other in the real world. Our team has worked very hard to test all the sub-systems, to model everything and try to understand it as best as possible. And today, to bring everything together and let it do its full operation… It’s going to be a great day. Whenever you guys are ready. We’re in perch mode. Ready? Ready. Throttling up. We’re in ascend. Gain is ramping. Motors are alive. Cleared the platforms. Altitude is 17, in ascend. Woah, it’s cool to look out the window. Ok, throttle is 0.5 We have 7 or 8 kilonewtons of tension. Climbing faster. Motors are well balanced. We’re at hover full length, we’re at hover full length. Ok, now it’s ticking down. We’re in accel. Throttle’s up. We’re in trans-in. Looks good. Looks very good. We’re right on the tether sphere. We’re in crosswind, we’re in crosswind. Looks good, looks good. Does it sound different? Or is that just me? No, it’s quiet. Tension dipped to 27. Speed is 50 meters per second. Clearing the bottom and climbing. Everything is looking good here. Wind speed is 4 meters per second. We’re at 9 o’clock.

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