Austrian company develops parachute rescue system for DJI drone

By Patrick C. Miller | December 19, 2018

Drone Rescue Systems GmbH of Graz, Austria, has developed a parachute rescue system for the DJI M600 small unmanned aircraft system (UAS), commonly used for a variety of commercial and industrial applications.

Known as the DRS-M600, the parachute safety system works autonomously and independently from the drone. It ejects a parachute in a fraction of a second, enabling safe commercial and private drone flights over crowds. Drone Rescue said its products are designed to reduce the risk of harming people on the ground and to safely bring down drones when they malfunction during flight.

Andreas Ploier, CEO and co-founder of Drone Rescue Systems, said the DJI M600 was a natural fit for the company’s first parachute system because of its broad commercial use. The drone is frequently used for surveying and aerial photography missions, which means the onboard systems and sensors often represent a large investment for users, he said.

The DRS system is equipped with electronics and intelligence to quickly detect a potential crash, ejecting the parachute autonomously and fast. The DRS-M600 is system-independent and can be deployed with a total failure of the drone.

Drone Rescue Systems designed the parachute system to be lightweight—less than a pound—to avoid reducing the drone’s payload capacity and range.  "Thanks to the carbon cage for the parachute and the miniaturization of the electronics, we were able to reduce the weight to a minimum,” Plojer said.

According to the company, the DRS-M600 can be easily mounted on the DJI M600 at any time and requires little maintenance. The parachute trigger mechanism can be easily attached and detached with a bayonet catch.

The parachute can be deployed from an altitude of 33 feet. The system’s short reaction time ensures that malfunctioning drones can quickly be brought to a stable sink phase to reduce the kinetic impact of the landing.