Dear reader,

We are now live at www.skycat.pro. The development project continues, and updates are added to this blog in random intervals.

We have parachutes launchers available in many weight ranges; optimal 1 - 6 kg and these could be extended with higher impact level up to 11 kg. For larger up to 23 kg multicopters we have XL - series with pilot chute principle.

For those who wants to digest all information available of products, we have left this blog as it is. This blog follows closely main steps we have gone through while developing parachute launcher. Blog might feel like Do It Yourself kind and to be honest, in the beginning it was.

After hundreds of hours thinking, designing, prototyping and testing our patent pending launcher turned to be the most reliable parachute launcher for professional use. We have searched all possible boundaries of technology and from this blog you'll find results of these successful tests but also not so successful tests.

You never know where The final limit of technology is without experiencing it. That's the reason why we have done tests for scenarios which might not be even realistic on flight.

For production versions of Skycat we could proudly to say that we have experienced zero mishaps, never failed a single eject and parachute has deployed every time. This includes rescue scenarios with every imaginable scenario copter could face in air. Check this out as one sample of our test sessions! 

Skycat parachute launcher has been tested beyond all imaginable abuses copter possibly could experience in flight. We have sink it to water, it has been heated hours to 90°C and exposed to extensive moisture, we have frosted, defrosted and frosted it again, it has been in mud and snow and still it has worked. Same overshooting tests we have done also for electronics. This is not promise you can use our products outside of submarine but we have tested it so :)

This blog will still be updated as well our Facebook pages www.facebook.com/skycat.pro and Twitter at https://twitter.com/skycatpro

Fly safe - Let's keep our copters flying!

Henri

Skycat.pro

 

DJI Inspire 1 / Skycat X55-CF parachute integration by www.remotevision.ch:

Other documentary videos:

Skycat Twin test session

OPENTX for parachute eject and 6POS switch

DUAL spring loaded switches - single RC channel for parachute eject...

Brake enabled SimonK firmware

Ground eject demonstration in slow motion 

Water test

Aerial test No 2 for Opale Paramodels 2.5m^2 parachute 

Aerial test No 1 Opale Paramodels 1.8m^2 parachute 

A moment of deploy

Tower test 3

Tower test 2

 

Manufacturers contributed to this project:

- http://www.opale-paramodels.com/

http://www.fruitychutes.com

- www.vectorheli.com

- www.3drobotics.com

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I found these schematics https://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/Hardware


And

These was in the first page of forum. Looks like frequently asked question :)

http://diydrones.ning.com/forum/topics/apm2-5-5v-vcc-schematic

Here is video which demonstrates 6m2 (2.8m in diameter) parachute tube triggering. Next tube size to be done is for 1.8m2 parachute. It is planned to be installed on multicopter and tested in air.

Here are two links, one embedded and one direct link. For some reason embedded video was visible only with Opera Next I used for making it and IE/Chrome shows only embedding code.

Parachute trigger test video link

That thing really blasts out of the tube doesn't it?  Looks very good.

Randy, Thank you! Your opinion is highly appreciated.

1.8m2 3D printable prototype version is already designed. It took almost an hour to modify from this larger version. I'm just waiting to get printer back from other fellow owner of this printer. Perhaps at the end of this week we'll see something new.

This is going to work.

New test update:

This time I tested different about double force spring for large parachute tube. Large 6m2 parachute seems to require a lot of power for making sure it really flies out. All heavier objects I shot flies meters with that force as you can see in video where ice hockey puck takes some air. This time spring force was about 240N.

Spring force test video link

Looking very powerful.  Is it the friction on the insides of the tube that's making the parachute slower or is it just wind resistance plus it's not a solid object so it can absorb a lot of the force from the spring before it actually has to move?

Like trying to kick a pillow, it's just not going to go as far as a soccer ball.

I guess greasing the tube or adding baby power to reduce friction won't help then.

That's correct.

It is combination of all of those plus behaviour of a spring and who knows what else. Spring has highest force when it is fully compressed and force decreases linearly to zero. So highest force is used to compress parachute closest to the piston and when chute is compressed to some point it begins to move. Spring actually has to exceed static friction quite a long time because chute is not a single moving object. And also as a result of compressing a chute friction force increase so long until full chute is moving. And when chute is out takes wind its role. Spring should have enough power to kick chute at least outside of the copter radius.

Parachute compressing effect seems to be strongly related to tube diameter/length. Bigger diameter is better for ejecting a chute but requires more footprint.

We have used babypowder at work for analyzing friction effect. There it is a temporary solution but works fine. Here it might be permanent solution because tube is closed volume and powder stays inside. I'll try it when I find final tube material.

Hi Henri,

I've tried PTFE (Teflon) coating spray inside the tube which wasn't too bad.

Best,

Ralf

Hi Ralf,

It's good idea and easy to try. Is it polycarbonate or CF tube you have used?

Hi Henri,

I am using transparent PVC pipes for the moment.

best,

Ralf

On the code side we've made one small step towards supporting the parachute which is to make control_roll, control_pitch and control_yaw always hold the desired roll, pitch and yaw angles.  So the next step will be to compare those to the actual angles at some reasonable interval (like 20hz or 50hz) and recognise when things have gone badly.  That work won't take long so when the hardware mechanism is ready we can whip that out fairly quickly.

That's good news.

Hardware is in process and something new might happen at this weekend. Yesterday I made new tube for 1.8m2 parachute but unfortunately it was too small and chute would have needed too much force to push out. I'll try to print few millimeters bigger today.

And new frame where parachute is integrated waits time for assembly.

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