The Indemnis Nexus parachute system for the DJI Inspire 2 drone has been validated as compliant with the new international standard for drone parachutes, following a strenuous testing procedure at the New York UAS Test Site in Rome, N.Y., managed by NUAIR.
This breakthrough in reliable parachute technology for small drones opens a wide range of new possibilities for professional drone operators intending to demonstrate that they can safely and reliably fly over people as well as sensitive locations.
Indemnis, based in Anchorage, Alaska, joined DJI in a safety partnership in 2017 to develop industry parachute standards as well as a parachute system that can deploy instantly if a drone encounters flight anomalies, reducing the potential energy of any impact on the ground.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits most drone operations directly over people as a safety precaution. Professional drone operators can apply for a waiver from that restriction if they can demonstrate they have robust safety mitigations in place.
The Indemnis system is intended to be the core of a parachute-based safety migration plan for a waiver, and can also help provide one path forward for advanced operations as the FAA considers how to allow routine flights directly over people.
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 form the drone body and propellers.
Indemnis offers the Nexus package for the Inspire 2, and tends to offer it for Matrice 200 series and Matrice 600 series drones by late 2019.
NUAIR Alliance, which manages one of the FAA-designated test sites for drone technologies at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York, put the Indemnis Nexus through 45 functionality tests across five different failure scenarios last month during four days of testing. Those tests validated that the Nexus on the Inspire 2 complies with the ASTM International F3322-18 Standard Specification For Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) 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.