Landing system tests

First step in testing the system was to prove the concept of using a streamer to deploy the parachute and at the same time test different folding techniques in order to identify the one most promising solution. Tests were first conducted on May 24 2010. These proved that the principle of using a streamer to pull out a parachute worked. A promising folding technique was also identified and adopted as the primary one for upcoming tests. However when the FFU was put into unfavourable positions such as with the opening facing straight up and the parachute deploying horizontally no deployment could be achieved. Therefore the system could not be concluded to be able to work in the conditions possible during descent from this test nor be ready for drop test. 

A new test run was planned and conducted on June 3 2010 addressing this problem. The results from this test shows that along with some smaller modifications made to the FFU deployment can now be reached withthe FFU facing straight up. The system could at this point be concluded ready for drop test conditions as parachute deployment seemed reliable.

The drop test was conducted at Esrange in Kiruna on August 24. Two DT-FFU’s (Drop Test FFU), with an in principal identical setup of the landing system as the real one, some electronics for activation and a mockup structure, were manually activated and thrown out of an aircraft at 1000m altitude. Both of the DT-FFU drops were successful and parachute deployment was confirmed in both cases. The units were recovered and inspected. Both had survived the test completely. The conclusion of this test was that the system had been validated and was ready for flight.