In the world of drones and hobby rockets, Niklas Bommersbach is making waves with his innovative safety system. Bommersbach has designed a system that detects critical flight behavior in drones, rockets and other aerial vehicles, activating a two-stage parachute deployment for a safe and controlled descent.
At the heart of the system is an Arduino Nano microcontroller that monitors altitude using a barometric pressure sensor, deploying the parachute at a set altitude during rapid descent or in response to a manual command sent via radio. The primary parachute is loaded with a spring mechanism, with a drogue chute serving as a backup to slow descent if the primary parachute fails.
The system is ingeniously designed to deploy a parachute if the drone or rocket experiences an uncontrolled descent, allowing it to return gently to the ground. This is achieved through a robust deployment mechanism and a innovative design that triggers the deployment, both engineered by Bommersbach himself.
Awesome parachute system saves drones and rockets
The parachutes are housed in 3D-printed containers, which are opened by servo motors. These motors are powered by a small lithium battery that is independent of the craft’s battery, making the system self-contained. The Arduino first deploys the drogue chute to slow descent and attempt to pull out the main chute. If this fails, the Arduino can actively deploy the main chute.
Bommersbach’s system is not just a safety measure for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), but also a testament to his ingenuity. Inspired by SpaceX-like rockets, the system is designed to reach high altitudes, pick up speed, and be in free fall for most of its descent. The system includes an electric ducted fan, a controller, batteries, transmitters, servos, and construction materials.
Due to its complexity, the system costs around $1,200 and requires approximately 100 hours of construction time. However the innovative drone parachute safety system is sure to be developed further and will hopefully be made in production for those without the skills to be able to benefit and save their drones from fatal impacts.
Drone parachute safety system
The safety system is comprehensive, including a redundant parachute deployment system, an independent controller with its own power source, reliable software, and extensive testing. It uses a barometric pressure sensor to measure altitude, which is crucial for determining the parachute release point.
Bommersbach uses the example of Jenga blocks to explain the physics behind the pressure and altitude measurement. The system also uses a technology called BRIBTIRG (brass rods I bent to interconnect ridiculous geometries) to release the parachute. The software for the system is designed to find the optimal point for parachute deployment, considering factors like wind and speed. The system includes a drogue chute, which is used to slow down falling objects and deploy a larger parachute.
The system was tested using a drone, which allowed for the drogue chute to be deployed while the drone remained in stable flight. Bommersbach found that the system reaches terminal velocity quickly during descent, so the drone parachute is deployed instantly if a fail is detected.
Manual parachute deployment
The height for the main chute deployment is hardcoded into the system, allowing for manual intervention if something goes wrong. Niklas Bommersbach’s parachute system is a game-changer in the world of drones and rockets, ensuring their safe descent and preventing potential crashes.