Unmanned Valley Valkenburg: Drone and Airborne Wind Energy Testing in the Netherlands

Anouschka Versleijen, Joep Breuer, L. van Oostrum

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


    Unmanned Systems are playing an increasingly important role in our economy with a significant impact on our society. Airborne Wind Energy is an emerging industry that offers alternatives to conventional wind turbines. At the former naval air base Valkenburg in the Netherlands, we are providing test facilities for Airborne Wind Energy Systems (AWES) and related technology. This open-air lab is uniquely located in an area with adjacent housing, thereby allowing for tests in a realistic urban environment. We are already performing regular tests with Kitepower systems in Valkenburg and are thus shaping the public perspective on this type of novel systems. Because of its former use as a naval air base, the air space above the field is restricted by an Aerodrome Traffic Zone (ATZ). Inside this air space, future flight tests will be possible without special permit controlled by the local Quality and Safety Manager. Impact on local residents is measured based on interviews to assess the public perception of renewable (wind) energy in general and Airborne Wind Energy in particular. The test center itself offers the opportunity to perform future safety analyses. Further tests will be conducted on a possible interference of AWES and drones. The Unmanned Valley Valkenburg (UVV) will additionally be capable of featuring tests beyond the visual line of sight above the North Sea. The site itself is located within 30 minutes from drone manufacturers as well as leading research institutes like TU Delft, University of Leiden, and the European Space Research and Technology Centre. Above all, the test center is accessible to international parties thanks to its close proximity to Schiphol Airport. The municipality of Katwijk holds the chair of the foundation and guarantees operation of UVV on the airfield for the next 5 years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    EventAirborne Wind Energy Conference 2017 - Freiburg, Germany
    Duration: 5 Oct 20176 Oct 2017


    ConferenceAirborne Wind Energy Conference 2017
    Abbreviated titleAWEC 2017

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  • Cite this

    Versleijen, A., Breuer, J., & van Oostrum, L. (2017). Unmanned Valley Valkenburg: Drone and Airborne Wind Energy Testing in the Netherlands. 161-161. Abstract from Airborne Wind Energy Conference 2017, Freiburg, Germany. https://doi.org/10.4233/uuid:4c361ef1-d2d2-4d14-9868-16541f60edc7