Work Package 2

Reference Models, Tools and Metrics


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.

Computer rendering of the MegAWES reference model

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

Progress and Achievements

Status November 2022 [Annual Report]:

In WP2   on Reference models, tools and metrics the terms and definitions elaborated by the AWEurope Working Group were agreed on:

The NREL methodology of “Technology Performance Levels” (TPLs) will be applied.

The WP assesses the state of the art of globally available simulation approaches, tools, and platforms. Among those are e.g. the Julia Kite Power tool which is a reference model to improve quality insurance

The MegAWES reference model and simulation framework for a future utility-scale AWES ( is a Matlab/Simulink model that includes an aeroelastic wing of 42.5 m span, a point mass model to describe the flight dynamics of the tethered aircraft, a discretized tether, and simple controller to fly circular trajectories with a short retraction phase per circle.

The aircraft model was upgraded from point mass to rigid body, accounting for translational and rotational degrees of freedom.