Caltech Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) is now the home of WindShaper 1 (as named by Prof. Mory Gharib, director of GALCIT). Caltech, rated as one of the best research institutions in the world and constantly making the history of technology, is now equipped with the most advanced laboratory for autonomous systems. Today is certainly the beginning of a new era in drone research and development.
There are no words strong enough for describing our excitement at this precise moment of WindShape existence. After one year of intensive work from the prototype to the product, our engineers successfully delivered the first of its kind real wind & weather facility for drone research. Watch below the timelapse of the CAST construction, including the assembly process of WindShaper 1.
Assembly: in progress
Our team of engineers left Switzerland at the beginning of October to assemble the first facility of its kind at Caltech as explained here. Once the CAST will be open (24th of October), it will be a very important step for WindShape.
Indeed, we will have our first feedback on a project of such a size. Our logistics and maintenance will be ready to respond to any situation in order to allow the researchers to test and develop their drones with new solutions, without slowing down.
It’s finally possible for science and industry to take measurements of all aerodynamic forces, while drones fly, facing complex but realistic wind configurations.
Caltech is the first customer. It’s a partner of choice to use and improve new measurement methods; history proved it many times already. You can already see, to the right, advancements in the assembling. Stay tuned for more news in the days to come and be in the first to see the facility.
Drone Days at EPFL
The Drone Days at EPFL last week were a beautiful opportunity to show people our new demonstrator. Visitors understood our aim: giving researchers, regulators, and industries data that was impossible to obtain until now. Our demonstrator didn’t just blow wind on drones. Adults and children came into the setup and felt the sheer power of our wind. We would like to thank EPFL and all those involved in the organization of this event. Thanks also to all the visitors… See you soon for more!
WindShape at Caltech
This summer we are going to install our first facility at the California Institute of Technology (CALTECH). The facility will include 180 modules and will stand in the new laboratory called the Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST). With over 1500 fans, there will be a testing section of more than 10 m2.
This laboratory is emerging thanks to the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT) the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and several other laboratories at Caltech. Their purpose is to develop and improve drones, and also robots for space exploration, industry, and medicine. The CAST will be led by Morteza Gharib, who is a well-known Professor of Aeronautics and Bioinspired Engineering and Director of GALCIT.
The delivery is planned prior to the inauguration of the CAST’s drone arena.
Last week, our engineers went to Zurich, to do some tests at ETH.
We used a very innovative installation for air flow measurements. We had very helpful results and acquired a huge quantity of data in a short time. The technology was developed at the Institute of Fluid Dynamics (IFD), it’s called ProCap, and it’s commercialized by streamwise GmbH.
The measurement setup combines a multi-holes Pitot tube with a 3D motion capture system which allows tracking the position of the hand-held probe in the volume of interest. This setup makes possible the acquisition of data, such as wind velocity and vorticity. This test session allows us to better understand the flows we generate, and to confirm some of our CFD analysis.
First fan module
We are very proud to show you our first module prototype with its frame! Still some welding to do, but we could not wait to show it to you. Isn’t it beautiful? Let’s keep in touch for the next step!
We are on Twitter
Now, you can also follow our activities on twitter.
Thanks to the work of Jean-Philippe Kuntzer, we now have a fully functional test bench for characterizing our fans with respect to ISO standards. This will help us to develop new propellers and improve our product.
New Office in Geneva
You are welcome to visit us in our new office in Geneva. We are kindly hosted by hepia (University of Applied Sciences in Geneva) at Rue de la Prairie 4, CH-1202 Geneva.