Rescue parachutes for multirotor drones

Comparison of commercially available off-the-shelf parachutes systems for multirotor drones

There are two parachutes systems available off-the-shelf at the moment.

The Opale Paramodels with its POD and container. This parachute is available in several sizes 1,8m², 2,5m², 4m², 6m², 12m² & 15m², for aircrafts up to 15 kg (33 pounds). The Rescue Kit for DJI S800 is a also available. It is a complete kit with the parachute, the POD and its ejection system selling at 329€. The ejection is triggered by a servo.

Rescue Kit pour DJI S800

The second system consists of a servo and a spring. It is manufactures by MARS Parachutes and is available in 3 different sizes :

  • The MARS MINI, has a 91cm (36") diameter, ideal for an aircraft up to 1.8kg (4lbs) such as a DJI Phantom or 3DRobotics IRIS+ or TBS discovery. It weighs 113g (4oz) and cost 149€.

UPDATE (5 May 2015) : The new MARS MINI v2 is 99g (3.5oz).

  • The MARS 58 has 1m47 (58") diameter parachute for an aircraft up to 4.5kg (10lbs). It weighs 312g (11oz) and goes for 290€.

UPDATE (5 May 2015) : The new MARS 58 v2 is 289g (10.2oz).

  • The third one from MARS is the 120, much more imposing, consists of two parachutes. A pilot chute 90cm diameter and a main parachute has a diameter of 3 meters (9.8ft) for aircrafts up to 11.3kg (25 lbs). It weighs 900g (2 lbs) and you'll find it at 1499€. It is also triggered by a servo which is couped with a high energy compression spring for an ultra fast deployment.

UPDATE (5 May 2015) : The new MARS 120 v2 is 870g (1lbs 15oz) and feature a single parachute (no more pilot chute).

 mars parachute 58 drone

  

UPDATE (20 April 2014) : A new parachute is out, made by Ripair, you'll find more information here (in french). 

You will find below a comparison table of the various rescue systems according to their characteristics such as : size, weight, maximum aricraft weight, price and deployment system.

PhotoNameMaximum recommended aircraft weightTotal system weightFall rate at maximum aircraft weightDeployment systemPrice
Mars
 parachute-mars-mini Mini 1,8 kg 113 g (complete system) n/a servo / spring 110 €
 parachute-mars-58 58 4,5 kg 312 g (complete system) n/a servo / spring 280 €
 parachute-mars-120 120 11,3 kg 907 g (complete system) n/a servo / spring/ pilot chute 1085 €
Opale
 parachute-opale 1,8 3 kg 95 g (with container, without servo) 5,7 m/s pod / servo / gravity (optional rubber band ejection system) 99 €
 parachute-opale 2,5 4 kg 120 g (with container, without servo) 5,1 m/s pod / servo / gravity (optional rubber band ejection system) 149 €
 parachute-opale 4 5 kg 200 g (with container, without servo) 4,5 m/s pod / servo / gravity (optional rubber band ejection system) 219 €
 parachute-opale 6 7 kg 300 g (with container, without servo) 4,35 m/s pod / servo / gravity (optional rubber band ejection system) 419 €
 parachute-opale 12 12 kg 500 g (with container, without servo) 4 m/s pod / servo / gravity (optional rubber band ejection system) 449 €
 parachute-opale 15 17 kg 620 g (with container, without servo) 4,27 m/s pod / servo / gravity (optional rubber band ejection system) 489 €
Ripair
 parachute-ripair PSD-S 2,5 kg 45 g (complete system) n/a none 230 €
parachute-ripair PSD-M 4 kg 75 g (complete system) 5,5 m/s none 245 €

 

Making your own parachute

For those of you who don't want to spend money on the parachute system or if you are part of the so called makers revolution. Thanks to the people who shared their work, there are a couple of examples of handmade parachutes systems for UAVs on the internet.

Here is a parachute whith a CO² cartdridge ejection system, made with airsoft gun parts over at diydrones.com.

Parachute multirotor drone CO2

A simple parachute, without ejection system, mounted on a RC plane.

parachute avion radiocommandé

Again on diydrones.com, a parachute test on a small quadcopter, ejected by a servo + spring. 

parachute test drone quad copter

A simple but yet effective parachute system made with a Coca-Cola bottle and a spring 

parachute multi rotor coca cola bottle spring

More DIY parachutes :

A tutorial on RCGroups.com explaining how to build your own parachute + ejection system.

A website (in french), with in-depth explainations about theoritical and mathematical science behind a parachute.

A Parachute Descent Rate Calcutlator (in english) according to its weight et the parachute size.

Posted on 05/03/2015 by Gaël Billon Home 2 92179

2 Comments

  • Gaël Billon

    Gaël Billon 05/05/2015 Reply

    Merci.
    Oui effectivement l’absence de cheminée est un point faible du système MARS, il faudrait essayer une combinaison des parachutes Opale et du sytème d’ejection MARS.
  • Gaël Billon

    Gaël Billon 05/05/2015 Reply

    Super le compte rendu .
    Pour avoir fait l’acquisition d’un parachute Opale (4m²), j’en suis pleinement satisfait. La qualité est au rendez vous, le déploiement est rapide.
    J’ai eu l’occasion de voir le Mars, sympa également, par contre dommage que le parachute ne soit pas aussi bien fini et ne soit qu’en une seule pièce.. du coup il n’est pas super stable.

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