Ph.D. defense Ashwin Candade at TU Delft: 6 December 2023

On 6 December 2023, Ph.D. candidate Ashwin Candade will publicly defend his doctoral thesis entitled:

Aero-structural Design and Optimisation of Tethered Composite Wings - Computational Methods for Initial Design of Airborne Wind Energy Systems

Ashwin was a Marie Curie PhD fellow in the EU Horizon 2020 doctoral training network AWESCO, working at Enerkíte in Berlin. The defense will take place in the Senaatszaal at the Aula of the Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 5, Delft. Preceding the defense, Ashwin will give a brief presentation of the performed research at 09:30 CET, the actual defense ceremony starts at 10:00 CET, and the actual defense ceremony starts at 10:00 CET.

The live stream will start at 9:25 CET.


I will try to make the live stream. Is it possible to read the thesis before the meeting takes place?

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I think the composite kite wing is a very interesting approach. Looks nice!

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An interesting content about “1.3.1. The tri-tethered fixed-wing system” starts on page 11, and continues on page 12:

From the multiple airborne configuration of kites shown in Figure 1.7, this thesis considers the
tri-tethered, tailless swept fixed-wing concept. The wing is operated in pumping cycles using ground-based energy conversion and a ground-based actuation system to control the airborne wing. Unique among the other AWE concepts, this system combines steering via tether manipulation, as seen on soft-wing kites, with composite wing structures of more traditional aircraft-style fixed-wing systems. Such a tri-tethered system concept is in active development by the company EnerKíte.

Page 158, about structural wind mass:

Typical operational design points require the wing to provide a traction force of well over 100 kg/m² while maintaining a structural wing mass of ≤ 5 kg/m². Figure A.11 illustrates the 30 kW prototype wing during assembly in the workshop.

This value seems to be an intermediate value between those of a flexible wing and a rigid wing, for comparable dimensions, and even for a comparable power range.


An interesting number is 197 N per kg kite mass. This is quite decent if they can pull it off.

For anybody checking in here: the livestream was recorded, and the link in the original post now leads to the archived video recording.


Very interesting indeed