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

  • Pixhawk 1 automatic eject worked on "real" case!

    Auto mission start from table was slightly too careful and copter flipped off the table after some centimeters. Ground effect changes perhaps too quickly on this case and aggressive take off is required.

    Anyway, parachute was ejected! Minimum eject altitude is set to 0 meters and therefore it was ejected towards the ground..

    3702274956?profile=original

  • Now it is something huge in air! 

    To put this in to correct perspective; copter on image is one meter from motor to motor.

    3702218018?profile=original

    • Hi Henri, That is the IFC-192-S we shipped you, it has 18 gores!  That is an awesome photo.  I don't see a lot of photos on this chute.  So the chute is 16' across (almost 4 meters).  The chute is rated up to a 92Kg load.

      Can you tell me about the copter?

      -Gene

      • Gene,

        This is your largest parachute IFC-192-S! You'll get this photo and lot more once artists has tuned them, this was just quick screenshot.

        Copter is our heavy lifter X8. This time it had easy flight weight 9 kg which it can lift with four motors. With 8 motors it should be capable to lift 13 - 17 kg to eject altitude. Flight controller is The Pixhawk.

  • These are screenshots of free fall:

    3702620799?profile=original

    • Here is the video of Pixhawk firmware 3.3.3. automatic eject (or manual) and some updated and more accurate data. Earlier reply is deleted as it contained inaccurate data and now after new analyze data is closer to reality.

      Logs are attached. Scenario was simple throttle OFF at altitude 84 meters. Copter fell quite far until Pixhawk decided to eject. I hit also manual eject at some moment on the way down and parachute were out 0.4 seconds before it would have been too late. It was very close call. Fall speed at that point was 32 m/s and parachute were fully inflated at altitude 13 meters.

      In the end I'm not fully sure if Pixhawk ejected at all or were mine manual eject request primary trigger for eject.

      It seems that Pixhawk hesitates for a long time (35 meters in this case / or no eject at all) and when it decides to eject takes it some time until output gives signal. This delay can be seen on manual eject on table when eject is hit, first propels begins to shut down and then parachute is ejected.

      Total delays:

      Pixhawk: 35 meters at ~2.5 seconds (or no automatic eject at all)

      Delay for I/O signal: ~0.5 s. This is estimated using video material and logs. Logging ended at altitude 48 m and parachute is out at altitude 26 m, speed 32 m/s. Travel time minus launcher delay is Pixhawk delay.

      Delay for Fuse blow: ~0.18 seconds (3S drive battery typically on our tests)

      Delay for parachute inflation: ~1.1 seconds. Deceleration begins immediately and after 1.1. seconds speed is approx. terminal velocity.

      This is data we got, please feel free to make conclusion.

      3702737686?profile=original

      logs (2).zip

      • Developer

        Hi Henri,

        Ok, I'll have a look at the logs and see if I can figure out why it took so long to eject.

        • Hi Randy,

          Great! Check also if Pixhawk ejected at all or was mine manual radio request first. It was Taranis, X8R with SBUS in connected to channel 7 if I remember correctly.

          We try to make some setup which allows to determine delays more accurately. High speed video on standing copter is one option. Most difficult is to rule radio delay out. Accurate analyze would need oscilloscope where one trigger is set to receiver channel signal pin monitoring PWM High state (to Pixhawk). It tells accurately when command is set.
          And another trigger to output. Delay in between these is Pixhawk delay.

          This just takes some time to setup all properly.
          • Hi Henri, Are you testing the new 84" chute?  Look like it ;)

  • Update for Pixhawk users and devs:

    Today we did parachute function endurance testing for Pixhawk 3.3.3 firmware. We flew two batteries and aimed to get all out of the test copter. We performed long and deepest possible dives with minimum throttle, straight minimum throttle descent, shaking with max lean angles etc.

    Result was that Pixhawk didn't eject parachute and all went as should. Based on today two flight test it looks like that with this very much shaking / vibrating copter it ain't possible to cause unwanted eject.

    Videos follows once edited.

This reply was deleted.

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