Trajectory Tracking Flight Control of a Tethered Kite Using a Passive Sliding Mode Approach



Wind energy, tethered kite, power generation, Robust Control


Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) systems take advantage of high altitude wind in order to generate electrical energy. One of the challenges when harvesting energy with an AWE system is to deal with strong disturbances such as changes in the wind velocity. This paper proposes a robust trajectory tracking controller for an AWE system, namely a tethered kite, when it operates in the energy generation phase. The controller design is based on an approximate model of the kite and makes use of feedback passivation together with sliding mode techniques. The trajectory tracking error of the closed loop system in the presence of parameter variations and external disturbances is formally studied using Lyapunov stability theory. The performance of the controller is verified trough numerical simulations using a complete model of the kite.


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Author Biographies

Miguel- Angel Zempoalteca-Jimenez, CINVESTAV

Miguel-Angel Zempoalteca-Jimenez was born in Hidalgo, Mexico. He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Pachuca Institute of Technology, Hidalgo, Mexico, in 2008. The M.Sc. degree in energy engineering  from  the  Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, campus Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Presently he is a student of the doctoral program at the department of Electrical Engineering in CINVESTAV. His fields of interest are mechatronics systems and renewable energies applications.

Rafael Castro-Linares, CINVESTAV

Obtuvo el título de Ingeniero en Comunicaciones y Electrónica en el ESIME-IPN, México, D.F., en 1981, obtuvo los grados de Maestría y Doctorado en Ingeniería eléctrica en CINVESTAV en 1982 y 1987, respectivamente. Fue Jefe de la Sección de Control Automático del Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica del CINVESTAV, (1991-1993) y (1998-1999). Ha sido profesor visitante en el Laboratorio de Automática de Grenoble, Grenoble, Francia, en el Departamento de Informática y Sistemas de la Universidad de Roma ``La Sapienza'', Roma, Italia, en la Facultad de Ciencias Matemáticas de la Universidad de Twente, Enschede, Holanda, y en el Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica de la Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Es Miembro del Sistema Nacional de Investigadores, Miembro de la Academia Mexicana de Ciencias, Miembro Titular de la Academia de Ingeniería, México, y ``Senior Member'' del IEEE. Actualmente es Investigador Titular en el Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica del CINVESTAV. Sus intereses de investigación son los sistemas de control no lineal y su aplicación a servomecanismos.

Jaime Alvarez-Gallegos, CINVESTAV

(SM'97) recibió el título de Ingeniero en electrónica en el Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN), CDMX, México en 1973 y los grados de Maestría y Doctorado en Ingeniería eléctrica en el CINVESTAV en 1974 y1978, respectivamente. Fue Jefe del departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica del CINVESTAV (1992-1996) y Director de la escuela de Ingeniería Interdisciplinaria y Tecnología Avanzada del IPN (1997-2000). También fue director del Centro de Investigación en Computación, IPN (2007-2009). Fue profesor visitante en el Imperial College of Science and Technology, Londres, UK, (1985-1986). Actualmente es profesor en el departamento de ingeniería eléctrica en el CINVESTAV. Sus intereses son la mecatrónica, métodos de optimización y el control de sistemas no lineales.


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How to Cite

Zempoalteca-Jimenez, M.-A., Castro-Linares, R., & Alvarez-Gallegos, J. (2021). Trajectory Tracking Flight Control of a Tethered Kite Using a Passive Sliding Mode Approach. IEEE Latin America Transactions, 20(1), 133–140. Retrieved from