P. Demkowicz - MSc Thesis Defence numerical simulation of the flow past lei kite

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This Thesis continues TUDelft’s focus on the LEI kite, and nicely presents ongoing refinements in CFD and basic aerodynamics.

Current fundamental limits on numeric analysis are starkly apparent. The LEI kite emerged and was quickly optimized by purely empirical design. LEI kitemakers have always used CAD to dimension their fabric parts for manufacture, but still cannot effectively model kite dynamics numerically. Ever evolving wings are built and flown for performance comparison in the real world of kite racing and freestyle. The LEI kite is now very close maximal optimality, no thanks to CFD.

In AWE, the real race is far beyond numeric methods. The AWES engineering avant garde must rely on general heuristics and intense small-scale topological experimentation to lead the way forward, just as great kites have always been invented and advanced. For now, numeric analysis just follows timidly, with the classic refrain; “good correlation of experimental and calculated results”; with refinements, not breakthroughs.

Content starts at 25 minutes.

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