Journal article

Kite Power - A Benchmark Problem, for Advanced Control and Dynamic Optimization

This paper presents a kite control and optimization problem intended as a benchmark problem for control and optimization in the presence of uncertainty. The problem of controlling a power-producing kite during dynamic flight has recently received much attention from the control and optimization community. The benchmark problem in this paper can be studied in simulation, and thus it is easily accessible to researchers in the fields of control and optimization. The simulated scenario, which reproduces many of the challenges presented by a real system, is based on experimental studies from the literature, industrial data and the first author’s own experience in experimental kite control. In particular, an experimentally validated wind turbulence model is included, which subjects the kite to realistic disturbances. The benchmark problem is that of controlling a kite such that the average line tension ismaximized. A ‘plant’ (in fact a simulated reality) is defined that is different from the control ‘model’. In thismanner, uncertainty is present in the form of plantmodel mismatch. The outputs of the plant are corrupted by measurement noise. The maximum achievable average line tension for the plant is calculated, which should facilitate the performance comparison of different algorithms. A simple control strategy is implemented on the plant and found to be quite suboptimal, even if the free parameters of the algorithm are well tuned. An open question is whether or not more advanced control algorithms could do better. A Simulink implementation of the simulated reality is made available.

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