Activities in Task 48

Read about the Task 48 work packages and activities below

Resource Potential and Markets

Work Package 1


Topics and objectives

This work package will assess the high-altitude wind resource, the related generation performance of deployed AWE technologies, both on the system and on the wind park level, as well as the economics and potential contribution of AWE to the future energy system. Several potential scenarios for the global deployment of AWE will be developed to facilitate the formulation of a roadmap for the AWE sector.

The following tasks will be covered:

  • Assessment of the wind resource (up to ~1 km) using available reanalysis data (e.g. ERA5), regional refinements using appropriate mesoscale model data (e.g. DOWA/new US wind atlas by NREL/GWA3/NEWA), and measurement data (e.g. Lidar data).
  • Techniques to simplify the use of the wind resource data and improve its usability (e.g. clustering methods for wind profile shapes) and explore compatible system performance characterizations (e.g. a set of power curves for a variety of wind conditions).
  • Performance prediction methods distinguishing different AWES architectures, using low to medium fidelity models to generate power curves, which will then be validated by test data from operational AWES in close collaboration with WP2. The impact of short timescale wind variations and turbulences not covered in the reanalysis data shall be assessed.
  • Assessment of the electricity generation potential at selected sites, first for Europe and the US, then for other sites, using the derived wind resource data and AWES power curves.
  • Combine performance prediction methods with cost models for specific AWES architectures to explore the system/wind farm design space.
  • Embed AWES performance and cost models in an energy system model and investigate the deployment in potential markets, such as on- and off-grid or on- and offshore, considering different penetration scenarios.
  • Determine economic metrics, such as Levelized costs/profit/revenue of energy (LCOE, LPOE, LROE), etc.

This framework will allow developers to assess how expensive a system is expected to be and how expensive it can be to be economically viable, based on the market. The different stages of model development are systematically interleaved with validation steps, linking also to the reference models of WP2. An optional outcome of the work package is a joint technology assessment approach.



  • D1.1 AEP (Annual Energy Production) predictions for selected sites in Europe and US
  • D1.2 AEP prediction toolchain documentation
  • D1.3 Global high-altitude wind resource atlas
  • D1.4 Recommendation on AWE entry-markets

Reference Models, Tools and Metrics

Work Package 2


Topics and objectives

This work package will develop key capabilities, tools, and reference cases that support the research and technology development of airborne wind energy systems. It will span from the formulation of the fundamental problem statement of airborne wind energy conversion, through the definition of metrics and performance indicators, specification and development of simulation and assessment tools to the specification of reference models serving as application and educational examples.

The following specific tasks will be targeted:

  • Collaborative conduct of a holistic systems engineering approach to identify stakeholder requirements and extract system functional requirements for airborne wind energy systems well considering the different use cases associated with the different markets.
  • Identification of commonly used metrics and key performance indicators and determination of gaps between available metrics and the quantification need of functional requirements.
  • Development of technology assessment methodologies and tools for the holistic, absolute, and relative assessment of the techno-economic performance of airborne wind energy systems applicable at different technology development stages from concept to high TRL. these methods will be built on the identification and suitable combination of metrics and key performance indicators to reflect detailed specific as well as trade-off-influenced holistic system capabilities.
  • Determination of the state of the art of globally available simulation approaches, tools, and platforms. Identification of gaps in the simulation tool landscape and initiation of simulation tool development activities ranging from collaborative development to simulation competitions with embedded use of the developed reference models as test cases.
  • Development of key airborne wind energy technology concept reference model(s) representing distinctly different fundamental airborne wind energy technology archetypes.
  • Development of validation approaches for the comparison between the simulation tools and prototype test data, and for the upscaling from prototype to a commercial system.



  • D2.1 Report and Common definitions of metrics and KPIs and gap analysis
  • D2.2 Online dissemination platform for reference model(s) including, system definition, overall design, Concept of Operations and applications examples metrics, and simulation tools
  • D2.3 Centralized design tool database
  • D2.4 Comparison of simulation and test flight data, validation of simulations, and upscaling assumptions

Safety and Regulation

Work Package 3


Topics and objectives

Question to be answered: How to deploy AWE safely in a technologically feasible and affordable way?

The Task will review existing siting, grid connection procedures, and permitting regulations in selected countries and develop guidelines for their adaption of AWE technology where necessary or appropriate for a smooth AWE deployment in Europe and worldwide. We will also elaborate on regulatory guidelines on how AWE should be treated regarding ground safety, and airspace integration (e.g. lighting & marking interference with air traffic). To that end, we will seek collaboration with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Authority of the US (FAA), national, and regional aviation and permitting authorities, and other experts in the field (e.g. operators of unmanned aerial systems (UAS)).

With respect to different AWE operational approaches (offshore .vs. onshore; soft kite .vs. hard kite) we will elaborate on adequate safety guidelines, keeping in mind technological feasibility and affordability. We aim to trigger and where possible contribute to the development of international standards and guidelines for AWE (e.g. within the IEC-61400 for wind generators and aviation-related standards).

Concept of operations (CONOPS) guidelines for different AWE concepts

Power generation systems regulation on-ground safety (on the ground):

  • How does AWE change existing regulations?
  • Electrical system safety: How to deal with all ground station and grid connection-related components and related safety expected.

Aviation regulation:

  • How does AWE fit into the current and future aviation regulations including ground safety of 3rd parties and airspace integration?
  • Which laws and regulations apply (e.g. European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 of 24 May 2019; FAA regulation; other national regulations) and how do they need to be adjusted to accommodate for AWE?
  • How to apply Specific Operations Risk Assessments (SORA) assessments comparable to AWE concepts (e.g. Benchmark) required health monitoring and recovery systems to ensure the safety of 3rd parties.
  • Airspace integration: How can AWE become a player in the shared concept?

Health, safety, and environment (HSE): Practical aspects of protecting the environment, maintaining health and safety at the occupation

Operations: How can design concepts and approaches, and standardization be benchmarked for different AWE operation approaches including aviation, ground operation; HSE)?

This WP will work closely with aviation authorities (EASA, FAA, CAAs, …) and other technical standardization entities (FGW, IEC, …).



  • D3.1 Whitepaper on AWES safety
  • D3.2 Concept of operations (CONOPS) and guidelines on risk assessments (e.g. SORA)
  • D3.3 Airspace integration concept; D3.4 Benchmarking concepts for safe automatic operation

Public Acceptability

Work Package 4


Topics and objectives

Question to be answered: What are AWE benefits for and impacts on society and the environment?

This WP will ideally also involve non-technical expertise like social sciences in order to investigate how neighbors and society perceive AWE.

The following topics will be potentially covered:

  1. Site selection: What are key features that AWE sites should fulfill? Which sites already developed for conventional wind could be used for AWE?
  2. Local perceptions regarding visual impacts and safety aspects: How will neighboring communities perceive AWE?
  3. Noise emissions: How should noise emissions be measured? How can noise be reduced?
  4. Impacts on birds, bats, and other fauna including marine habitats in case of offshore
  5. Participation of local communities in AWE projects: How can it be ensured that local communities can participate and benefit also financially from AWE projects? What differences may there exist to other renewable energy projects?
  6. Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA): What are the carbon and environmental footprint of AWE compared to other energy technologies? How can it be further reduced? Which components and materials have the highest impact?
  7. Circular Economy: How can AWE systems be designed to reduce material consumption through repairability, reuse, and recycling? Synergies with Tasks 28 (Social Acceptance) and Task 34 (Working Together to Resolve Environmental Effects of Wind Energy) will be sought. It will be discussed if it is preferential to include AWE aspects in these Tasks instead of taking up all social and environmental issues in the AWE Task.



  • D4.1 LCA for AWE and conclusions
  • D4.2 Repository of surveys and studies on social acceptance and impacts on birds/bats
  • D4.3 Guidelines for site selection, noise measurement, and environmental impact mitigation measures
  • D4.4 Circular economy / cradle-to-cradle aspects for AWE, incl. design process

AWES Architectures

Work Package 5


  • someAWE Labs, Airborne Wind Europe

Topics and objectives

The main question to be answered in this Work Package is: Which AWES Architectures exist and how do they compare?

There are a plethora of necessary design choices to be made when designing an AWES – ranging from the choice of method for power transfer, the type of rotor/wing, the lift source, the launch/land method, etc. Design decisions need to be based on a systematic exploration process. However, the exploration process is complex because of a variety of ways in which the same functionality can be implemented. This WP aims to provide the basis for a tradeoff analysis between each of the implementation options based on parameters of interest.

The work package will conclude with the R&D needs and gaps being identified and will also highlight as-yet untapped design spaces.

This WP will include:

  • AWE Design space exploration –
  • Identify Reference models
  • Tradeoff analysis between implementation options
  • Project Evolution / Development history / Reasoning
  • Categorizing working and proposed AWES architectures
  • Evaluating applicability, performance, and impact metrics across AWES architectures
  • Highlighting resources linked to defined AWES architectures
  • Highlighting the potential for further investigation

This WP will produce a broad-spectrum AWES technology assessment.



  • D5.1 Design space representation
  • D5.2 Application / market-specific recommendations on AWES deployment
  • D5.3 Oversight on AWES R&D state, trends, and needs
  • D5.4 Definition and specification of a portal for identifying AWES engagement and development potential

The deliverables in this work package will be elaborated in three steps: i) structure for a consultation with the working group, ii), draft for consultation with the working group, and iii) final version for the public. The respective phases are shown in the Gantt chart as sub-milestones.



  • M5.1 WP kick-off meeting and potentially subsequent scope adjustment
  • M5.2 Final WP meeting

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