Drone Rescue Systems GmbH has announced that it has launched a new parachute rescue system for the DJI M600 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The main focus of development of the new DRS-M600 system was on reliable, autonomous crash detection, with potential for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operation in case of emergency.
The DJI M600 is employed in many commercial and industrial applications, such as surveying and aerial photography. “Consequently, for us it was a natural step to develop our first specific parachute system for this model,” commented Andreas Ploier, CEO and co-founder of Drone Rescue Systems GmbH. The drones and their payloads, such as cameras and measuring instruments, often represent a considerable investment for the users. Safe and fast landing in hazardous situations is thus important in order to protect hardware as well as people in the field of operations.
“We ourselves have learned from experience in our immediate vicinity that a drone crash can bring a service provider down with it. For this reason, we were determined to develop a system that reacts faster than the pilot and can be used in an emergency, even during BVLOS operations,” Ploier added. The DRS system was therefore equipped with electronics and intelligence that quickly detects a potential crash and ejects the parachute autonomously and quickly. The entire parachute system is system-independent and can be deployed even with a total failure of the drone.
“Thanks to the carbon cage for the parachute and the miniaturization of the electronics, we were able to reduce the weight to a minimum. The complete system weighs only 420 g,” declared Ploier. This weight was also achieved by dispensing with pyrotechnics as the trigger mechanism. Consequently, the DRS-M600 is not subject to any safety requirements or hazardous goods regulations and can therefore also be carried on passenger aircraft without official requirements.
In an emergency, the parachute itself is catapulted out of the cage by a robust elastic cord system. The parachute design is rectangular and is therefore particularly pendulum- and wind stable. “This is particularly important because the parachute should be unfurled very quickly. Our goal was to develop a parachute system that can be deployed from an altitude of 10 m. With the design of the parachute and the fast trigger mechanism, we have achieved this goal,” stated Ploier. Due to the short reaction time of the entire system, damaged drones are quickly brought to a stable sink phase, whereby the kinetic impact energy is also reduced.
The DRS-M600 can be easily mounted on the DJI M600 at any time and requires very little maintenance. The parachute trigger mechanism can be easily attached and detached without mechanical effort by means of a bayonet catch. Even during turbulent flight or strong vibrations, the bayonet catch guarantees a reliable connection between the parachute system and drone. Thanks to the mount function, after its installation the DRS-M600 is immediately operational. All flight movements are recorded by the electronics and saved. As a result, in the event of damage this data can be analyzed and if necessary forwarded for clarification. Depending on the insurance company, this may lead to discounts to insurance premiums for drones.
“We have already spoken with international insurance companies about this and they showed great interest. But a reduced premium is also interesting for the insured party, since this way he can refinance the acquisition cost of the DRS-M600,” explained Ploier. Furthermore, thanks to the parachute system, flight permits and licenses according to the new EASA-Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) regulations are more easily issued.