The Indemnis Nexus parachute system for the DJI Inspire 2 drone has been validated as compliant with the new international standard for drone parachutes, DJI has announced.
The validation follows a strenuous testing procedure at the federal unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site in Rome, N.Y.
Indemnis, based in Anchorage, Alaska, joined DJI in a safety partnership in 2017 to develop industry parachute standards and a parachute system that can deploy instantly if a drone encounters flight anomalies.
The Indemnis system is intended to be the core of a parachute-based safety mitigation plan for a Part 107 waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It can also help provide a path forward for advanced operations as the FAA considers how to allow routine flights directly over people, explains DJI.
“DJI is pleased to have contributed to the development of technologies and standards that will be used to support advanced, higher-risk operations,” says Brendan Schulman, DJI’s vice president of policy and legal affairs. “As the FAA works to open more of America’s skies to beneficial drone uses, the certification of the Nexus system on DJI’s platform is a significant step toward making flight over people and crowds routine, expanding the scope of vital applications such as search and rescue, newsgathering, and public safety.”
The NUAIR Alliance, which manages the New York UAS test site at Griffiss International Airport, put the Indemnis Nexus through 45 functionality tests across five different failure scenarios last month during four days of testing. The tests validated that the Nexus on the Inspire 2 complies with the ASTM International F3322-18 Standard Specification For Small Unmanned Aircraft System Parachutes. DJI, Indemnis, the FAA and other industry stakeholders collaborated on developing the ASTM consensus standard, which was finalized late last year after more than a year of work.
“Indemnis has tested our parachute systems in thousands of real-world unplanned failure scenarios, and NUAIR’s validation of our work is an exciting step toward making professional drone operations over people safe, routine and productive,” states Amber McDonald, Indemnis’ president and CEO.
Nexus is a ballistic parachute launcher, triggered automatically if the drone suddenly begins tilting abnormally or falling. It deploys the parachute within 30 milliseconds at 90 mph through a tube that rapidly inflates to keep the parachute lines away from the drone body and propellers. Indemnis offers the Nexus package for the Inspire 2 and intends to offer it for DJI Matrice 200 series and Matrice 600 series drones by late 2019.