Indemnis Nexus parachute for DJI drones is first to achieve crowd safety standard
Indemnis has announced its Nexus parachute system designed for DJI drones is the first to be certified as compliant with the ASTM F3322-18 standard. The system is designed to prevent a faulty DJI drone from free-falling to the ground by deploying a small parachute, which slows the drone's descent for a safer, more gentle landing.
Both the US and UK require drone operators to get permission before operating a small UAV (sUAV) above a crowd, a limitation that intends to protect innocent bystanders from injury in the event of a drone crash. Waivers are offered on a case-by-case basis by both the US's FAA and the UK's CAA, but require operators to show how people below will be protected if the drone experiences a failure mid-flight.
The FAA granted its first waiver in October 2017, when it gave CNN permission to fly a Vantage Robotics Snap drone featuring protective rotor cages over a group of people. A parachute system like the Indemnis Nexus offers a different type of protection, one that is the first ever to meet the international ASTM F3322-18 standard for small UAVs.
The standard covers deployable sUAV parachute systems, including design, fabrication, and testing, and was designed to help drone operators get permission for flying over crowds from agencies like the FAA and CAA.
According to Indemnis, it was required to pass a series of 45 functionality tests spread across five drone failure scenarios. Testing took place at New York's Griffiss International Airport in a controlled airspace; the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance oversaw the process.
The Indemnis Nexus system is designed to strap onto existing DJI drones, which it monitors using sensors. If the sensors detect a flight disruption, a ballistic launcher deploys a parachute at 90MPH / 144kmh. The tube containing the parachute is designed to inflate in order to protect the parachute from the drone's rotors and body.
The drone was validated for use with the DJI Inspire 2, but may be offered for the Matrice 200 and 600 series, as well, by the end of the year.