Operating a remote-controlled flying aircraft is nerve-racking. Add an expensive camera payload, power lines, crowds of people, birds, and trees now every subtle move on the joysticks feels like something could go wrong. With the ParaZero SafeAir system it gives drone operators and civilians peace of mind.
DJI has confirmed the loss of power mid-flight with the popular DJI Matrice 200 and Matrice 210 drones. See the press release about power failures with the Matrice 200 series of drones. See the DJI Advisory about customers being asked to fly with caution when using TB50 and TB55 batteries. Those batteries are used for both the DJI Matrice 200 series and also with the DJI Inspire 2. We here at DSLRPros had a drone fall out of the sky (October 11, 2018) while test flying one for a customer.
How does the drone parachute system work?
The SafeAir system has three key components; an internal measurement unit (IMU) that detects flight irregularities, a drone power shut off device to stop propellers and a pyrotechnic parachute to slow the descent as quick as possible. When critical failures are identified the flight termination system stops power to the drone. An audible buzzer begins to sound. Next the pyrotechnic parachute deployment detonates, shooting the canopy of the parachute open in less than a second. After the parachute is open the drone slowly floats down to the ground while the audible buzzer continues to alert people. Stopping the drone motors first is necessary for the parachute to deploy properly without getting tangled. Having a quick firing parachute deployment system means minimal free fall time just incase the drone is close to the ground. The benefit of the Parazero system is that it has an autonomous IMU triggering system that is completely independent from the drone. This means that even if the drone loses power midflight the SafeAir system will still activate. The SafeAir system is equipped with a safety pin for manual arming and disarming of the system. For safe transport the SafeAir comes with a heavily tested safety cover that attaches over the SafeAir system just in the unlikely case of a misfire during transportation. The ParaZero SafeAir Drone Safety System for the Matrice 210 is for sale here.
Who is the ParaZero SafeAir system for?
The SafeAir system is for drone users. Whether that be drones being used for cinema, public safety, service providers, or research. Having a backup safety system gives drone operators greater peace of mind knowing their investment is secure. Most importantly this system protects people nearby since some drone applications such as construction, inspection, police, and firefighting involve flights over people and within cities. If you are interested in DSLRPros’ infrared line of drones check them out here.
The Matrice 600 series version of the SafeAir has a flight termination system that has to be installed onto the main power board of the drone. This direct connection to the drones motors is necessary in order for the SafeAir system to shut off power before detonating the parachute. The Matrice 600 version does not require its own battery and draws minimal power from the drone.
The Matrice 200 series version uses a different method to stop power to the drones motors. The flight termination system attaches directly onto the battery eject button on the back of the drone. Once a fault is detected a pin pushes down on the battery eject button, stopping power to the drone. Luckily the smart engineers over at ParaZero put a battery stopper on the termination system so the batteries do not just fall from the sky. Since the Matrice 200 version does not draw power from the drone it requires its own small rechargeable battery. See the official press release here.