The ASTM Professional Kit offers commercial operators the required compliance documentation that can be submitted to CAAs for operational waivers and approvals.
Operations Over People
For commercial operators, the ability to operate over, or close to, people is critical as it opens new verticals and business opportunities that were previously unattainable.
The FAA and other CAAs around the world have indicated that parachute systems that comply with ASTM F3322-18 are a good way to mitigate the risk of flight over people.
ParaZero is proud to present the only ASTM F3322-18 compliant parachute system for the DJI Phantom 4.
ASTM F3322-18 requires over 45 aerial parachute deployments with a 3rd Party Testing Agency. These tests together with the standard’s other requirements give operators and regulators the confidence required in the three performance pillars of a parachute system:
Effective and reliable in all failure scenarios
Rated descent rate of 16.8 fps
Minimum flight altitude of 62.4 ft
Learn More About ASTM F3322-18
Industry standards are an important factor in allowing regulators to move forward with rulemaking. Regulators do not have the ability or resources to be experts in every detail of every new technology. Instead they rely on the industry led standard setting organizations to define the baseline for certain technologies.
This is exactly the case with ASTM F3322-18 Standard Specification for sUAS Parachutes. Seeing that parachute technology will likely play an important part in future regulations (see More About the FAA’s Proposed Flight Over People Rule below), the FAA requested that ASTM standard body put together a working group to define a standard for sUAS parachute systems.
In mid-2017, ParaZero, together with other industry leaders such as MITRE, DJI, Amazon, the FAA itself and others, began developing the standard that is currently known as F3322-18.
The standard is designed to address the three performance pillars of parachute systems mentioned below.
Effective and reliable in all failure scenarios: F3322-18 requires the integrator/manufacturer to perform a series of over 45 aerial deployments in different scenarios together with a 3rd Party Testing Agency. These scenarios include two types of failures; Full Motor Cut (FMC), basically a complete loss of power to all rotors, and Critical Number Motor Failure (CNMF), a partial failure resulting in only some of the motors malfunctions. These deployments are performed at different UAS states (mainly hover or full forward speed).
Rated descent rate: The rated descent rate under open parachute is critical to understand the expected kinetic energy of the object upon impact. Kinetic energy is the deciding factor for flight over people categories in the new FAA draft regulation. Throughout all tests the descent rate is measured with on-board equipment. The system is rated by the average descent rate from all tests. The SafeAir Phantom’s descent rate is 5.12 meters per second/16.8 feet per second.
Minimum flight altitude – because of a parachutes design, it inherently loses altitude before it can slow down the falling object. The altitude lost as part of the deployment process determines the minimum safe flight altitude for the system to be effective. To determine this figure we took our worst result from all tests (15.9 meters/52.2 feet) and added a safety factor equal to twice the length of the parachute cords. The SafeAir Phantom’s minimum flight altitude is 19.02 meters/62.4 feet.
What is the FAA NPRM for Flight Over People
In January of 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation published the long-awaited draft rule for UAS flight over people. The draft, defined as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), proposes changes to the existing Part 107 regulations that restrict any UAS operation over people. While the restriction was officially waivable, only a handful of companies were successful in securing such waivers to date (two of which were using ParaZero SafeAir Systems).
Read more about the NPRM and how it will effect your operations in the the following blogpost.
Frequently Asked Questions
In most countries installing the ASTM compliant SafeAir System does not automatically enable legal flight over people. In the United States for example, operators will require a waiver from Part 107.39 in order to fly over people. The ASTM F3322 Standard and the compliant SafeAir System are designed to enable operators to secure such waivers by using the product documentation and report as part of their waiver application package (together with operational manual, CONOPs, risk assessment, etc). Rules and regulations relating to UAS flight over people may vary from country to country. It is the operator’s responsibility to familiarize with, and operate according to regulations in the country of operation.
It should take up to 10 minutes for first time system installation (user manual can be found on the website). You can also remove and attach the system, following initial installation, in less than a minute.
No. For full ASTM compliance and for the ability to deploy the SafeAir System manually, operators need to connect their own RC and receiver. The SafeAir System requires configuration for remote control, this can be done through the ParaZero Desktop Application.
Yes. Please keep in mind that the system is only fully compliant with the standard while the ability to deploy the system manually is enabled. Operators can enable and disable manual deployments via the ParaZero Desktop Application. For flights without the ASTM Add-on, make sure to disable manual configuration via the app, otherwise the system will return an error signal.
The ASTM Add-on does not include a battery, and relies on the SafeAir system’s battery, which lasts at least one hour in standby\arm mode after full charge. It takes about 45 minutes to fully charge the system or 20 minutes to 80% capacity.
For professional SafeAir Systems that comply with ASTM F3322-18 and are intended for flight over people, parachutes must be packed and repacked by ParaZero. For shipping instructions to ParaZero, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All ParaZero products have a (1) one-year manufacturer warranty, which covers manufacturer related defects, errors or faults with the product (warranty can be found on the website).
Some insurance companies have agreed to reduce premiums for operators using the SafeAir system. Additional information may be found at parazero.com/insurance.