Offshore wind farm energy turbines at dawn. Surreal but natural sunrise at sea. Modernistic image. The future of clean energy production.



Hibernian Airborne Wind energy Kites (HAWK)

Start Date:


End Date:


Funding Body:

Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI)


CTL Tástáil Teo

Research Partners:

6Synct, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and Airborne Wind Europe (AWE)

Project Partners:

CTL Tástáil Teo and University of Galway

Principal Investigators:

Dr. William Finnegan, University of Galway, Ireland

Project Manager:

Michael Walls, CTL Tástáil Teo, Ireland

Project Coordinator:

Cormac Ó Cadhain, CTL Tástáil Teo, Ireland

Research Fellow:

Dr. Vahid Fakhari, University of Galway, Ireland

Research Area:

Materials & Structures


Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) uses kites or drones that are tethered to the ground to generate electricity. There is a diverse set of challenges facing the adoption of AWE technology, including product safety/regulation, technology feasibility, and developing effective supply chains.

Hibernian Airborne Wind energy Kites (HAWK) will accelerate development and deployment in the Irish marketplace of competitive energy-related products, processes and systems by introducing an open-source database effectively giving original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) a head-start in composite airframe development. This activity will strengthen Ireland’s reputation in the Airborne Wind Energy space and will encourage increased international collaboration.


The main aim of the HAWK project is to determine the key challenges and barriers for Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) system developers in predicting the capital and operating costs of composite airframe structures by developing techno-economic analysis models supported by data for candidate materials. Based on the material test data, a detailed analysis of the main wing component for long-term performance will be conducted.

The key objectives of the project are as follows:

  1. To test materials and create an open-source database
  2. To conduct techno-economic cost modelling of the airframe
  3. To map the supply chain requirements for airframe manufacturing
  4. To assess the wing durability and maintenance schedules
  5. To produce a certification roadmap
  6. To disseminate and communicate project findings and progress

Work Packages

The HAWK project has been broken down into 6 work packages (WP):

  1. Project management
  2. Material database generation
  3. Techno-economic analysis of airframe
  4. Long-term performance assessment of wing structures
  5. Certification roadmap development
  6. Dissemination and communication


Team Members Outside MaREI

Michael Walls

Dr Tomas Flanagan

Stefanie Thoms

Dr Edward Fagan

Dr Roland Schmehl



Name: Dr William Finnegan, University of Galway

Email: ei.yawlagfoytisrevinu@nagennif.mailliw