for modern sea transportation
Towing Kite Wind Propulsion Systems powered by Maple
SkySails GmbH & Co. KG, based in Hamburg,
Germany (www.skysails.com), develops, produces, and distributes
towing kite wind propulsion systems for modern means of
sea travel and transportation.
| These systems make the operation of
ships more profitable, safe, environment friendly, and
independent of scarce oil resources. The SkySails system
consists of a large towing kite similar to a paraglider,
which is navigated by a fully- automated control pod
and is connected to the ship via a towing rope. The
towing kite, an airfoil similar to that of a paraglider,
or parafoil for short, generates propelling forces.
The control pod performs similar tasks as a paraglider
pilot - shortens or lengthens the control cords, thus
changing the aerodynamic profile of the towing kite
- and governs its flight path.
The Control System controls the SkySail system, comparable
to an aircraft’s auto pilot. The traction forces
are transmitted to the ship via a traction cord made
of modern synthetic fibers, ensuring high load capacity
as well as low weight and low elongation under load.
An automated routeing system, aligned with historic
routes of large cargo sailers, will allow cargo ships
to reach their destination as quickly, and at a much
Maple’s role in the
SkySails used Maple to develop its simulation software. Maple
was chosen for its symbolic computation engine, which considerably
simplifies the derivation of the equations of motion for multi
body systems. Editing the three-dimensional mathematical models
by hand was not feasible within the company’s time frame.
Many matrix operations and derivatives needed to be applied
in order to set up the equations in three dimensions.
|SkySails said :
is grateful to Maplesoft, because Maple saved us a lot
of time. Using Maple was very easy and quick. The computations
we used are probably very basic for Maple, but they
were extremely effective for SkySails. When testing
the simulator, the correctness of the mathematical model
is crucial. With Maple, there was nothing to worry about!”
A flight simulator presenting the movements
of the kite system in real time is under development.