Skypull is developing an altitude wind power system based on a fully autonomous drone that captures the energy from the strong, abundant and constant altitude winds through a ground-based generator. The drone – which is connected to a tether and flow at higher altitudes and flies like a kite – transforms the wind power available between 200 and 600 meters above the ground in traction on the cable, forcing the drum to unroll the tether from the generator to produce electricity. The duty cycle implies a generation phase (the flying drone increases in altitude) and a recovery phase (losing altitude). The duty cycle is automatically and precisely managed by the control system on board the drone and the ground generation system.
With the approval from the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), Skypull is set now to commence flight test campaigns for their prototype. During the test phase, Skypull will collaborate with its partner AEM SA (Azienda Elettrica di Massagno) who will provide infrastructure and support. The Skypull team will focus on technical developments, developing a new prototype, empowering the control software and the ground energy generator. Upon accomplishment of the tasks, the startup will be permitted to deploy their first pilot test to demonstrate that the concept works. The final product following the tests is scheduled to be ready in 2019.
Behind Skypull is a team of experienced individuals with a background in engineering and business management. Aldo Cattano, the Technical Director at skypull, graduated in aerospace engineering has wide experience in the field of ultra-light airplanes, composite aerodynamic structures and mini wind turbine design. Also with a background in engineering is Nicola Mona the Executive Officer. He has experience maintenance, repair and overhaul for propeller driven aircraft and drones. Marcello Corongiu, the project officer of the startup, has worked in the field of high altitude wind energy generation since 2008 and is listed as expert by EU Commission. Skypull seeks to further build its team this year.
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Skypull is currently enrolled on the startup coaching program of the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI). In the coming days the startup will be on stage at "Silicon Valley meets Switzerland" event in Lugano and at the Swiss Venture Day- reloaded in Zurich.