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The parachute safety solution manufacturer Drone Rescue Systems GmbH is supporting the European research project Formation flight for in-Air Launcher 1st stage Capturing demonstration (FALCon). Under the leadership of DLR, research is being conducted on how launch vehicles can be returned to the launch site as efficiently as possible for re-use.
The aim of FALCon is to achieve cost-efficient and environmentally friendly satellite transport. The focus of the project lies on the return of rocket stages after launch. In order to be able to re-use these stages, efforts are being made to recapture them in the air using a “rocket catcher.”
For the next three years (March 2019 to February 2022) the focus will be on the development and flight demonstration of a technical solution for this idea. While still in the air, rocket stages are to be captured by a transport aircraft over the sea and pulled into the vicinity of the landing site. There, the stages are to land independently.
“We are proud to be part of the FALCon research project together with five international partners and DLR as part of HORIZON2020, the EU’s largest research and innovation program to date. The capture and towing of rocket stages in flight, i.e. an autonomous and safe landing, is a particularly interesting topic for us as a manufacturer of parachute safety solutions,” said Andreas Ploier, CEO of Drone Rescue Systems GmbH.
The research project has already carried out initial flight experiments with unmanned small aircraft.