Research + Tech

ASTM International committee develops standard to improve drone safety

ASTM International's Committee F38 on Unmanned Aircraft Systems has developed a new standard that provides requirements for parachute recovery systems (PRSs) used to improve human safety while operating drones.

The standard, ASTM F3322-18, "Standard Specification for Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Parachutes," outlines requirements for testing and validating PRS documentation. According to ASTM International committee members, the requirements may help drone operators seek approval from civil aviation authorities to fly small drones over people. Applicable to multirotor, single-rotor, hybrid, vertical takeoff/landing and fixed-wing drones, the standard specifically defines the design, fabrication and test requirements of installable, deployable PRSs integrated into drones to lessen the impact energy of a drone if it fails to sustain normal, safe flight.

Committee member Alan Erickson, chief technology officer for Indemnis Inc., Anchorage, Alaska, says the standard creates a framework for PRS manufacturers, drone manufacturers and drone operators that integrates the drone, parachute components and testing of the entire system.