Next: Drone Parachute Launchers
Ultimate Drone Parachute System for All Multicopters, Fixed Wing, UAS
What is a drone parachute?
Business continuance, reputation protection, and data retention are just a small number of the reasons sUAS pilots are opting to integrate parachute systems into their drones. In a matter of seconds, a drone parachute rescue system can literally make the difference between a small UAS start up growing into a macro drone empire and a devastating, business-ending crash.
But what is a drone parachute? A drone parachute is an emergency recovery system for any UAS (unmanned aerial system), including multicopters, fixed wing, VTOL and other UAVs (unanned aerial vehicles). It is generally deployed via ballistic or passive air extraction and always uses a parachute to descend to the ground.
What makes up a drone parachute recovery system?
A drone parachute system is made up of two main ingredients: a parachute and a parachute deployment system. Ballistic and passive are the primary forms of deployment.
Ballistic Drone Parachute
Ballistic launchers using drone parachutes are ideal for any drone with spinning props, that are agile and can hover, such as multicopters. Having a ballistic deployment system such as a spring or CO2 based launcher helps the drone and parachutes have separation from the drone and greatly reduces the chances of entanglement with the props. We carry two lines of spring based launchers, the Harrier Launcher* (1.27kg to 12.4kg) and the Skycat Launcher* (2.5kg to 20kg). Finally the Peregrine UAV system (12.7kg to 52kg or more) is our CO2 based system.
Passive Deployment Recovery
Passive deployment recovery works well for fixed wing UAV parachutes. This recovery system relies on continual forward flight of the UAV to extract the parachute using a small pilot chute to then extract the main chute. The main parachute is in a deployment bag to aid extraction. These systems are simple, light weight and low cost.
How to choose the best drone parachute rescue system?
There are many considerations that must be weighed in choosing the right size parachute. Your space available, weight impact, deployment method and more. The target descent speed plays a big role in choosing the parachute size. We have found that most UAV designers like to use a bit lower descent speed than rockets might use - typically around 15fps (4.6m/s). To assist in product selection we have prepared a white paper you can download that describes the process and gives several examples: UAV Recovery Guidelines.
To help determine the ideal size parachute you need to know the weight of your UAV, and your target descent speed. We recommend a goal of 15 feet per a second as the ideal descent rate. We have created a drone parachute calculator that will help you to determine the proper size: UAV Descent Speed Calculator.
What does an Automatic Trigger System do and why do I need it?
The Sentinel Automatic Trigger System (SATS-MINI) provides unparalleled ability to quickly and reliably detect a drone failure as well as the ability to guard against false triggers, making it safe to use with high energy deployment systems that use CO2 or pyro gas ejection. The SATS-MINI supports many configurable features to allow tight integration between the autopilot and the SATS-MINI system. The SATS-MINI also supports multiple detection algorithms optimized for drones, and also for fixed wing. The detection mode can be changed in flight for VTOL support.
The SATS-MINI has all the features required for ATS per ASTM F3322-18 Certified Drone Parachute Systems.
Are there commercial drones with parachute combo systems with Fruity Chutes on the market?
Inspired Flight Drone
Yes! Here are a few:
How about a drone parachute for DJI?
We carry parachute recovery systems for many DJI drones. These are all spring based systems that make use of our Sentinel Automatic Trigger System or SATS.
Interested in How to Make a Drone Parachute?
For anyone interested in drone parachute DIY, we have created a whole tutorial on making your own parachute: here.
Who makes the best drone parachute?
Since 2007, Fruity Chutes has been known as the main authority and world leader in the manufacture of recovery systems for UAV (unmanned air vehicles), RC, Quadcopter, and Drone parachute recovery. We provide recovery systems to many of the leading aerospace manufactures including NASA, Space X, AAI Textron, Quest UAV, Aeromao, Matternet, and may more. Many US and international aerospace companies are working with our products now integrating them into their UAS products. We also sell our parachutes to other Drone recovery system manufacturers such as Rebel Space, Skycat and more. Our top priority is to work with UAS manufactures and to help provide them with our world class recovery products.
Flight over people
We get a lot of questions about using our parachutes and other UAV / Drone products in order to get an FAA waiver or international CAA approval for flight over people. This FAQ answers these questions and mentions the ASTM F3322-18 committee, which we participated on.
If you are looking for more information on our drone parachute systems we recommend checking out our help guides.
Which Parachute Deployment System and Drone Electronics to Use
This section will help you choose the optimal products for you UAV systems. To help make product selection easier, we have created convenient Drone and UAV Recovery Bundles in our Webstore. We have several types:
- DJI Drone Parachute Systems - Bundles designed specifically for DJI drones. All bundle feature automatic trigger systems so the parachute can eject automatically in the event of a failure.
- Harrier Drone Parachute Launcher - The Harrier parachute launcher made by Fruity Chutes is ideal for Drones and Multicopters up to 6.2Kg or higher weight.
- Skycat Parachute Launchers - The Skycat parachute launcher is ideal for Drones and Multicopters up to 10Kg or higher weight.
- Drone Electronics - Cool electronic devices specifically for drones. This includes dedicated rescue radios and the Sentinel Automatic Trigger System.
- Fixed Wing Recovery Bundle - This bundle assumes the UAV is in forward flight for deployment.
- Peregrine UAV - The Peregrine UAV is a completely integrated system that features a CO2 release, and parachute canister systems for maximum packing density.
You choose the particular product by weight. Buy one bundle and get everything you need to recover your UAV or Drone!
New! - Not sure how to use Parachutes to recover your UAS? Read our UAS Parachute Recovery Tutorial!
Q - Why are our products the best available for UAS manufacturers?
A - Iris Ultra Parachutes - the ultimate in performance!
Our Iris Ultralight parachutes and Iris Ultra Compact annular parachutes are ideal for all types of UAV recovery. They can be used for primary recovery, or as backup rescue parachutes. The Ultra Compact parachute series uses Spectra lines which feature lighter weight materials, lowering the packing volume and weight by as much as 35% over the standard all nylon version. The Ultra Compact design is ideal for all types UAS recovery products.
Iris Ultralight parachutes and Iris Ultra Compact parachutes feature a toroidal shape which results in a Cd (Coefficent of Drag) of at least 2.2, meaning a smaller parachute can do the work of a much larger traditional parachute. Iris Ultra UAV parachutes feature:
- Lightweight 1.1oz Mil-spec calendared rip-stop nylon - parachutes are compact and lightweight
- Annular design (Toroidal), optimal for high drag and minimum material and weight
- UAV parachutes are trimmed with light weight Spectra risers to lower weight and volume
- Include a top loop for use with deployment bags
- Your choice of colors colors, or order stock parachutes for fast delivery
- Many sizes available for a variety of UAS weights
Choosing the Right Size Parachute
There are many considerations that must be weighed in order to choose the right size parachute. Your space available, weight impact, deployment method and more. The target descent speed plays a big role in choosing the chute size. We have found that most UAV designers like to use a bit lower descent speed than rockets might use - typically around 15fps (4.6m/s). To assist in product selection we have prepared a white paper you can download that describes the process and gives several examples:
To help determine the ideal size parachute you need to know the weight of your UAV, and your target descent speed. Then use our Descent Speed Calculator to determine the proper size.
Below are some Youtube videos showing some examples of how our parachutes can be deployed - simple!