Airborne Wind Energy for Martian Habitats

Roland Schmehl*, Mario Rodriguez, Lora Ouroumova, Mac Gaunaa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Renewable energy for Mars habitats is of key interest for future crewed missions. However, the low solar irradiation and low atmospheric pressure on Mars pose serious challenges to exploiting these resources reliably. In this chapter, we investigate the technical feasibility of a soft-kite-based airborne wind energy system and its potential to power a subsurface Mars habitat in combination with photovoltaics and short-term electrical storage. We propose a soft kite for its high surface-to-mass ratio, compact packing volume, adaptability to the available wind resource, and, thus, high capacity factor. First, the siting of the habitat is outlined, and the wind resources are quantified in terms of the wind speed probability distribution at the operational height of the system for different seasonal periods. Then, a performance model for the pumping cycle operation is developed to compute the power curve of the airborne wind energy system. Combining this with the wind statistics, a process for predicting the electricity yield at the habitat location is developed, which is then used to size all components of the hybrid power system to meet the continuous electrical power demand of 10 kW of the envisioned habitat.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdaptive On- and Off-Earth Environments
EditorsAngelo Cervone, Henriette Bier, Advenit Makaya
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-50080-0, 978-3-031-50083-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-50081-7
Publication statusPublished - 2024
SeriesSpringer Series in Adaptive Environments


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