Several members of both Bella Lui II and Space Race projects went to Sion this week to test parachutes by dropping them from a helicopter.
It was a success. This Wednesday, the EPFL Rocket Team went to Sion airport with members of the Bella Lui II project and members of the Space Race project. The aim? To test the deployment of different parachutes from a helicopter, allowing to reach a height of 150 and 350 meters. The test went very well and the parachutes deployed successfully. Explanations below.
Before take-off, Bruno Liard, the Recovery team leader, expected the main parachute to deploy more slowly. The lessons learned during the drop test in Crans Montana in February allowed us to correct small elements in the management of the shock cords,” he explains. And it paid off: we managed to get a faster inflation of our sublime Swiss cross parachute, while avoiding knots or tangles.” The extensive ground training and the helicopter drop test last year also allowed the team to be better prepared, which meant that everything went well as planned.
It’s a unique opportunity to be able to drop parachutes from a helicopter over an airport that is closed for the occasion.
As a result, Bruno Liard is very happy with the outcome of the test, both from a technical and a personal point of view: “It’s a unique opportunity to be able to drop parachutes from a helicopter over an airport that is closed for the occasion, he says. Moreover, the images and videos are magnificent and will allow us to analyse in great detail each element of our sub-system.”
The Recovery team left Sion with a lot of data in its pocket. They still have a few weeks to process it before the next step: this drop test marks the end of the parachute test phase and the beginning of the preparation phase for the flight of Bella Lui II, which should take place in May in the Lucerne Alps.