Flying Again

For the first time since the catastrophic crash that destroyed the first generation Parachute System Control Computer (PSCC-1), we returned to the test site. As the PSCC-2 had been extensively tested on the ground, the next step was to perform a flight test that would subject it to an environment very similar to the one it would experience during a drop test.

The plan for this test was simple, and designed to be low risk. The PSCC-2 was packed into a makeshift enclosure and lifted to a maximum altitude of 400ft by the flight test system (FTS). Once this position was reached, the FTS descended, carrying the PSCC-2 back to a landing. Throughout the flight, altitude, speed and other data was recorded for analysis back on the ground.

The test went flawlessly, and upon its conclusion we had plenty of data that would help us determine the PSCC-2 performance. This data showed that the altitude readings were consistent with those we had expected, showing a steady climb, followed by a hover and then a decent.

The GPS altitude readings, graphed to show the change that occurred during the flight.
Some of the data collected during the test.

With the success of this test and the previous ones, we have confirmed that the PSCC-2 is accurate during ground and flight operations. Now that this has been verified, we are able to begin developing the more advanced PSCC features that will enable it to deploy the parachute.

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