SATS-MINI Now Allows Automatic Parachute Deployment on VTOL, Fixed-Wing UAS

The Sentinel Automatic Trigger System (SATS-MINI) from Fruity Chutes is designed to detect when a drone fails and then trigger a parachute to deploy. The device’s 1.2.1 software update now makes this possible on fixed-wing and VTOL systems, not just multicopters.

With the update, the failure detection algorithm features customizable parameters that can be optimized for specific vehicles, according to a news release. The update comes a year after the company soft launched the SATS-MINI for select distribution, testing and refinement. So far, 10 drone companies have integrated the safety device into their UAS.

The SATS-MINI has six methods of failure detection, including free fall, rotation and absolute angle rotation. The flexible device follows the user’s parameters, with two separate trigger settings available during flight.

The parachute deploys if the vehicle loses altitude too quickly, flips, fails to maintain a specified angle relative to the ground or has other deviations from specified flight envelope parameters.

The updated software also features black box logging parameters. The black box records flights using a real time clock chip that provides the dates and timestamps for events. If there’s a failure, it records when and how that failure occurred, and also logs the flight pattern before and after the event that led to the failure. Through the update, users can configure the logging feature to only be used if the parachute is deployed, which saves room for more than 50,000 flights to be recorded.