The lightweight parachute system, which weighs about 430 grams, is autonomous and works without pyrotechnic, meaning that it can be reused immediately by simply and attaching and detaching it via a bayonet system. The parachute safety solution was to be certified for a project in the US in which the transportation and delivery of food to approximately 1,500 households in North Carolina, US, was to be made possible and safe. The drones used are from the DJI M600 series.
The ASTM F3322-18 standard is the first standard for parachute systems designed specifically for small unmanned aircraft vehicles. Compliance with this standard is necessary for the FAA to permit beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights and flights over crowds. In addition to structural requirements, documentation and dimensioning, the standard also defines 45 test flight scenarios that must be successfully completed with the parachute. These include combinations of releasing when hovering and in full forward flight, with the minimum and maximum take-off-weight, automatic and manual release, as well as a shock load test. Here, the drone is brought into free fall for three seconds and only then is the parachute released. All test flights must be documented with videos.
The ASTM standard tests were conducted on the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) test site in Rome, New York, US, in collaboration with Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research (NUAIR). They were also conducted in collaboration with the company Flytrex, one of the pioneers in parcel delivery by drones.
"Thanks to the successful certification, the DRS-M600 can also be used in other application areas in addition to parcel delivery,” said Andreas Ploier, CEO of Drone Rescue Systems GmbH. “Especially BVLOS flights can now be executed with the parachute safety solution as the FAA now permits this. This can play an important role in surveying operations in particular."