Research Opportunities

Altaeros Energies, Inc. - Postdoctoral Engineering Fellow - Flight Dynamics

SBIR Award Title

SBIR Phase II: Ultra-light,modular wind turbine

SBIR Award Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will develop an ultra-light, modular wind turbine for use in buoyant airborne wind energy systems. Reduced turbine weight has a cascading effect on total airborne system mass, allowing a significantly smaller, lower cost buoyant structure to be used to access high altitude winds. At heights up to 2,000 feet winds are strong and consistent, allowing for the production of low-cost, reliable power at a broad array of sites. High altitude winds have over five tim... more

Research Opportunity

Postdoctoral Engineering Fellow - Flight Dynamics


28 Dane St.


Ben Glass

Principal Investigator

Ben Glass


Altaeros Energies is developing a lighter-than-air airborne platform for wind power generation and for telecoms applications. Uniquely, the platform flies entirely autonomously, including docking during adverse weather conditions. Altaeros has developed a comprehensive non-linear flight dynamics simulation tool for the purposes of aerostat design and model-in-the-loop flight control. The tool is continuously refined with ongoing test data. The project is envisaged to continue development of the tool and build the flight dynamics 'know-how' in Altaeros, potentially including:
- Use of test data to empirically evaluate aerostat flight qualities.
- Assistance in model validation with test data.
- Statistical analysis of turbulent wind data and aerostat model response.
- Development of optimization functions to algorithmically identify most stable platform using model data.
- Expanding Altaeros' linearized and lower-order modeling capability (with rigorous evaluation of fidelity)
- Development of aero-elastic modeling capabilities.

Desired Knowledge

The successful applicant will have a self-starting, independent work mindset together with strong aerodynamics and flight dynamics background. He or she will have demonstrated capability with numerical modeling techniques. Experience in buoyant vehicles is desirable (e.g. lighter than air or submarine).