Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2019

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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68 www.insideunmannedsystems.com  June/July 2019 unmanned systems inside The standard requires an automatic trigger system to detect failures and deploy the parachute without relying on a remote pilot. It also requires a f light termination system to stop the motors from spinning once a failure is detected. "If there is a failure in some of the rotors and not in all the rotors, we need to stop power to all the rotors to prevent them from f lipping the drone and entangling the parachute, as well as prevent the risk of lacerating people on the ground," said Lozowick, whose company, ParaZero, was part of the group that wrote the new standard. The standard does not specify how exactly a f light ter- mination system should stop a drone's rotors, and drone parachute companies have proposed a number of differ- ent techniques to do so. "You might have something sit- ting on the power line from the battery to the motors," Lozowick said. "You might have a mechanical device that presses a button on the drone's battery to pop it out. You might have a small system to physically stop the rotors. When ParaZero's SafeAir System deploys its parachute, it has a number of rings physically catch the rotors to keep them from continuing to spin." Testing parachutes to comply to the new standard is a laborious task. "It's very easy to put a parachute on a drone and show it works when a drone is hovering in zero wind, but much more difficult to create a system that experi- ences a catastrophic failure that causes it to tumble head over heels several times a second," said Thurling, who was part of the standard's drafting group. "The new stan- dard has a very complete test matrix of conditions the drone must be placed in to see if the parachute system works. It holds a very high bar because we need it to guard against the worst-case sce- nario, not the best-case scenario." Each combination of drone model and parachute system "requires 45 aerial deploy ments for multi- rotor drones to test a wide range of possible failure modes, which is complex and expensive," Lozow ick said. "But these things have to be tested until every- one is confident that they are safe and reliable enough to f ly over people." The standard requires that an impar tial third- par ty agency w itness tests of each combination of drone and parachute system and supply v ideos, re- ports and other such data from those exams. In the U.S., these could be FA A test sites, universities with experienced drone programs, accreditation bodies and so on, Thurling said. ParaZero's June, f irst-ever FA A waiver compliant with the ASTM standard allowed general contrac- tor Hensel Phelps to f ly over people using ParaZero's SafeAir Phantom Parachute System. That same month, ParaZero announced completion of testing for its SafeAir Mavic parachute system at the Northern Plains UAS Test Site in North Dakota, ensuring this system designed for DJI's Mavic 2 series was complaint with the ASTM standard. Once civil aviation authorities "are very familiar with this standard and what it means, we hope it could ac- celerate approval of f lights over people and perhaps even beyond the line of sight," Lozowick said. Photo courtesy of ParaZero. "The new standard has a very complete test matrix of conditions the drone must be placed in to see if the parachute system works. It holds a very high bar because we need it to guard against the worst-case scenario, not the best-case scenario." Alan Thurling, chief technology offi cer of NUAIR (Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research) Alliance ParaZero ADDS NOISE A DJI Matrice 600 with a ParaZero parachute system that adds an audio warning buzzer to alert people on the ground in case of a problem. this standard and what it means, we hope it could ac- celerate approval of f lights over people and perhaps even beyond the line of sight," Lozowick said. and show it works when a drone is hovering in zero wind, but much more difficult to create a system that experi- ences a catastrophic failure that causes it to tumble head over heels several times a second," said Thurling, who was part of the standard's drafting group. "The new stan- dard has a very complete test matrix of conditions the drone must be placed in to see if the parachute system works. It holds a very high bar because we need it to guard against the worst-case sce- nario, not the best-case scenario." Photo courtesy of ParaZero. ADDS NOISE A DJI Matrice 600 with a ParaZero parachute system that adds an audio warning buzzer to alert people on the DRONE PARACHUTES Standards and Safety Flying Over People DEFENSE COMMERCIAL NEXUS

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