Skycat parachute launcher for Drones

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

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

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Other documentary videos:

Skycat Twin test session

OPENTX for parachute eject and 6POS switch

DUAL spring loaded switches - single RC channel for parachute eject, OPENTX

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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Replies

  • I've just ordered two of these http://www.marsparachutes.com/mars-mini/

    Is there a way to use a script in Mission Planner to monitor the drone in flight and if a fall is detected it will deploy the parachute (servo ?) , for exemple an acceleration of more than 8m/s² for more than 3 seconds ?

    I know that using APM for that it is less reliable than a independant system (fall sensor ?), but it's better than a manual command from the transmitter.

  • Prototype for new triggering method is in printer and results are seen in following week. But about installation of the APM, I'd like to have some opinions for installation seen in image below:

    Would this installation be OK from flight controller perspective if flight controller is not in the center of copter?

    In this version APM, GPS and Magnetometer are installed on the tower like this image represents.

    Parachute_tube_installation.jpg

  • Not sure what Kimberley is up to with this project at Photo Higher.

  • Removed. It was about electrical explosive initiator.

    Just got information that all electrical initiators are illegal in here.
  • Latest updates:
    We made two droptests for larger 7kg parachute using tube without pilot chute. Tube was larger in diameter but about half in length compared to tube with pilot chute. Parachute and dummy weight totally about 1 kg was hanging from Jdrones simplex quad with Turnigy 2830 1000kv motors, cheapest I found. I was wondering I might brake few before chute tests are over ;)

    Test 1 was failure. Chute didn't open perhaps because pushout piston was somehow stuck. Chute was out when it hit to ground but still folded. Altitude was something above 20 meters. Piston needs some modifications for preventing jamming.

    Test 2 was succesfull what it comes to parachute drop but copter crashed. Chute opened after about 10 meter free fall without any trouble.

    This time I wish I used chute on copter but I didn't. Copter fell about 30 meters and workshop is waiting again. Impact broke one battery cell, one motor, three propels and one boom. Next time if copter has enough thrust I will have one small chute on board for quad and the larger one which is dropped. Just in case.

    And, aluminium propel adapters for 3.17mm shaft will be epoxy glued to shaft. This flight was first flight ever when I didn't check propels. Murphy's law applied of course.
  • I just got a LOT more motivation for parachute development.

    Crash test dummy quad lost one motor and it dropped from 150 meters. Camera was still taking photos on the ground. Olympus TG tough series survived from 150 meter drop. Pretty tough.

    Jani&Co will receive a motor order soon...
  • Moderator

    FWIW, http://fruitychutes.com/ have a good range of chutes and they come with a pilot chute to pull the main chute out.

  • Would someone help me a little?

    Is it possible to control electric magnet with APM?

    Nominal voltage of magnet is 12v and power consumption is 3W. I'm trying to use a magnet as hatch holder. Hatch is released when magnet is powerless.
  • Updates:

    We did new tower tests last weekend. This time we tried how spring assembly kicks pilot chute out and how main chute is pulled from tube. This part worked just like it should but opening height variation was quite high. I guess packing of pilot chute plays big role here as well as overall length of ropes.

    Video link is on the foreword of this discussion.

    I ordered Teflon tape inspired by one commenter in this discussion. I think it helps to reduce diameter of tube and also length of the tube. Tube is already perhaps 2-4cm too long. Currently chute packing has been very loose. 

  • Some updates:

    Yesterday I tested once pilot chute deploy spring by throwing a container from rooftop. Hatch was secured with a pin which ripped of when a rope attached to ladders tightened. Chute opened immediately. Servo mechanism is under design.

    Today I found from local hardware store an air ventilation component which fits perfectly to my test copter. Parachute in it is smallest Opale parachute which I'm going to use as pilot chute for larger copter. This is very similar size as Mars58.

    This cable mess photo represents relative installation position for small chute tube container and its hatch.

    Photo_23_9_2013_20_37_09.jpg?width=721

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