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Kite Safety Device

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edward_v_hiskes

Kite Safety Device

Postby edward_v_hiskes » Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:05 am

The problem with current quick release systems is that the rider needs to operate them manually. However, when you are getting lofted by a sudden gust, there is no time to react manually. What is needed is a system that will operate automatically to depower the kite. An ideal system could operate during launching and landing times, but be made inoperative out in open water to permit jumping, etc.

I propose a system with a load cell tension sensor at the end of the kite line by the bar. The sensor would check line tension many times per second and feed the data to a system which could detect the "signature" of a dangerous event, such as a kite loop at launch time. For example, a load cell might put out an electronic signal proportional to the tension in the kite line. A cheap microprocessor with an analog-digital converter would convert the voltage signal into a digital signal, to be analysed inside the microprocessor. When a sustained pattern of voltage indicative of a "bad" event was output by the load cell, a pattern-matching program in the microprocessor would detect it. The microprocessor would then output a signal to a device which would depower the kite. One such device might be an electronicly-driven cutting device attached to the kite line. An electronic signal would detonate a small incendiary charge that would either burn the kite line or force a small knife-edge to cut the line. This would be a small, replaceable device something like an electronically-activated firecracker. It could be shielded with plastic casing so that all the incendiary stuff happens safely inside a plastic tube placed somewhere along one of the kite lines.

Of course, when a kite line is severed, the kite will depower, thus preventing the lofting.

An alternative sensor system might also / or instead monitor pressure on the rider's feet ... if the rider begins to lift off the ground, the presser his heels exert on the ground would drop, and the safety mechanism could be triggered.

The key is programming the pattern matching device in the microprocessor. This could be done easily by operating a kite with load cells monitoring line tension, and recording the results as the kite is put through various manoeuvers, preferably by an expert. The electronic patterns of various dangerous kite conditions could then be determined by examining the output of the sensors which was recorded while the expert put the kite into these conditions.

Anyone want to help build this device? I can do some of the microprocessor programming. There is a commercial device used by
parachutists for autodeploying reserve chutes that might be adaptable for cutting kite line .... the Cypres auto release system. We could use that, or make our own system....something like the electronic wire system used to ingite toy solid rocket motors could be adapted. The load cells would probably best be purchased from a commercial source.... there seems to be quite a few vendors out there.

Edward Hiskes
hiskes@freecle.com

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Postby edward_hiskes » Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:19 am

....I should have added.... the microprocessor system could be switched off when you are open water by means of a switch located on the kitebar....maybe a little glowing light would indicate the on/off state of the device to the user.

Also, the line cutting device need not necessarily cut the main kite line. Rather, a loop of kite line could be formed by joining two portions of a kite line with a link...and only the link would be cut. When the link was cut, the line would extend to its normal, full length...which would be about a kite-length longer than the other three lines. The effect would be just like current kite depower systems. A new link/cutting device could be fastened to the line for another launch attempt.

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Postby *MARK* » Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:02 am

Recently replaced my Cypres. About $1000 with the required 4 year maintainence plan. You would probably need two of them for 4 line kites. Cost about $100 if the thing fires and you have to send it to the manufacturer to have it readied for use again. Sounds like it might be kind of pricey.
WhenI let my nephew fly my kites I tie a cord to the quick release and clip the other end to the bar. Cord measured to pull the release when he extends his arms straight or lets go. Once hes out on the water he unclips it from the bar and clips it to the harness. Seems to work. MARK

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Postby Schumacher » Thu Jul 29, 2004 7:00 am

Yeah, Cypres cutters cost too much. And you need to place chip in waterproof container... Too expensive.

May be it's better to program the kite to fly by itself? Nice feature :)

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stefannn
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Postby stefannn » Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:19 pm

being separated from your remote control makes you nervous? get yourself a stereo and forget about kitesurfing.

come on, this is an outdoor sport and not formula one racing. and at least as far as i am concerned, it should remain that way.

cheers, stefannn

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Postby Toby » Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:41 pm

should be turned on an off while reiding.
Can you imagine powering up for a big air and then when the kite turns the safety is activated?

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Postby edward_hiskes » Thu Jul 29, 2004 7:38 pm

stefannn wrote:being separated from your remote control makes you nervous? get yourself a stereo and forget about kitesurfing.

come on, this is an outdoor sport and not formula one racing. and at least as far as i am concerned, it should remain that way.

cheers, stefannn

Good safety devices will permit the use of launch sites that would be otherwise too hazardous, or launch in conditions that would otherwise be too hazardous.... once you are in a 100m dragging indicent, I suspect your opinion might change....

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Postby KiteKarl » Thu Jul 29, 2004 8:04 pm

Actually, I had the same load cell idea in conjunction with a shackle that would release. Also, another idea would be a laser activated system that would fit on a harness. The laser would operate in a similar manner to a cops radar or one of those laser measuring tapes. It would point at the ground off the back of the harness. When the rate of speed or distance from the ground increased past a certain threshold it would release the chicken loop or shackle. Would be simple enough to make using existing technology.

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Postby LynchMob » Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:21 pm

That is the funniest post I have ever read. Thanks for the Laugh. Keep it simple

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Postby Windguy » Fri Jul 30, 2004 12:17 am

Shot rule anyone? I think an economy size 2 liter of whiskey might do the trick.


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