Kites offer considerable potential as wind speed sensors—a role distinct from their traditional use\ud as instrument-carrying platforms. In the sensor role, wind speed is measured by kite-line tension. A\ud kite tether line tension meter is described here, using strain gauges mounted on an aluminum ring\ud in a Wheatstone bridge electronic circuit. It exhibits a linear response to tension 19.5 mV N−1\ud with good thermal stability mean drift of −0.18 N °C−1 over 5–45 °C temperature range and a\ud rapid time response 0.2 s or better. Field comparisons of tether line tension for a Rokkaku kite with\ud a fixed tower sonic anemometer show an approximately linear tension-wind speed relationship over\ud the range 1–6 ms−1. © 2010 American Institute of Physics. doi:10.1063/1.346556
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