BRS develops unmanned parachute recovery system for Italian Aerospace Research Center

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn., 27 Nov. 2007. Ballistic Recovery Systems Inc., a manufacturer of whole-airplane emergency parachute systems, will provide a critical parachute recovery system for Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali (CIRA), the Italian Aerospace Research Center. The BRS product will play a critical role in a series of Balloon Dropped Transonic Flight Tests scheduled for early 2008.

Nov 27th, 2007

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn., 27 Nov. 2007. Ballistic Recovery Systems Inc., a manufacturer of whole-airplane emergency parachute systems, will provide a critical parachute recovery system for Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali (CIRA), the Italian Aerospace Research Center. The BRS product will play a critical role in a series of Balloon Dropped Transonic Flight Tests scheduled for early 2008.

The experimental programs will be launched from the Italian Air Force polygon (PISQ) based in Sardinia, releasing the balloon and its cargo of scientific equipment at altitudes from 24 to 40 km. The flying laboratory will execute a programmed trajectory, comparable to the last part of a spaceflight re-entry trajectory, with transitions through supersonic, transonic and subsonic regimes. The BRS parachute system will deploy to assure a safe splashdown and subsequent recovery at sea.

"CIRA was looking for an off-the-shelf solution to replace a previous recovery system within the programmatic requirements of the Unmanned Space Vehicle (USV) program. They also needed to have a high degree of confidence in its success," says BRS vice president of engineering Frank Hoffmann. "We are in the process of making slight modifications to the system's deployment configuration and the parachute container to fit the required conditions. The parachute canopy technology used on existing manned-aircraft programs will be pulled off the shelf with no modifications at all. By using the already proven man-rated technology, we combined our unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) experience to be able to create this recovery system for space research."

"This is a key milestone for BRS as we expand our technical capability to address the rapidly growing UAV market," says BRS CEO Larry E. Williams. "Our engineering group is doing a tremendous job adapting and integrating the current off-the-shelf solution to the requirements of BRS's first space application."

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