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df8m1

New AAD made in USA

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On 3/28/2019 at 7:00 PM, BrianM said:

 

 

 

Any updates on "soon"? I'm going to need a new AAD or two soon, wondering if I should wait a bit?

I jumped an Alpha all last summer and there will be some Military Betas in the air this summer. I pivoted our focus from the Sport AAD to the Military one as the U.S. Military is looking for a replacement for the Cypres-2 and Vigil AADs. (The Sport and Military AADs are different in regards to hardware and software).

I would recommend that you go ahead an get an AAD, and when this one is ready, you will always be able to sell the one you got as a stopgap. 

I am excited about live testing the Military AAD this summer.. If the U.S Military does not give us the nod then we will pivot back to the Sport version. 

I am very pleased with how both AADs are evolving as we improve / refine the algorithms, and address issues that could arise from potential scenarios; of which there are an incredible amount lol.. The algorithms are performing at a level that I never thought possible when we started these projects.. It is like watching a child grow up lol..

I will try to keep everyone updated this summer.

 

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On 3/31/2019 at 3:47 PM, df8m1 said:

 

I have been getting  a lot of questions such as "what makes this AAD any different?" and "Can a jumper change the activation altitude?".. 

I am finding that I am too close to this thing to keep it simple when I try to answer those questions lol, so I thought I would post some graphics from one of the PIA seminars I put on in Dallas.

Question: Can a jumper adjust the activation altitude? Answer: No.. This AAD actually adjusts the activation altitude, within a window, based on the jumpers descent rate. At a descent rate of 170ft/sec or slower, the activation altitude is  998 ft AGL. Descent rates above 170ft/sec but bellow 250ft/sec will result in an activation altitude between 1200 ft AGL and 998 ft AGL. Speeds above 250 ft/sec will activate at 1200 ft AGL. The goal being to have an open reserve over head by 500ft AGL regardless of the jumpers descent rate through reserve deployment. 

The current AADs use a fixed activation altitude regardless of the jumpers descent rate which puts all the variable tolerance (how far a jumper will travel during the reserve opening sequence) on the bottom end (between the fixed activation altitude and the ground). In contrast to that, by automatically increasing the activation altitude as the jumper's descent rate increases, I are attempting to put the variable tolerance on the upper end and provide a reasonable cushion between jumper and the ground by the time the reserve is open and over head. 

There is an exception to that where the AAD will delay activation, and that is if a main deployment was detected prior to reaching the activation altitude. This delay is based on the jumper's real time descent rate and a reserve canopy over head altitude of 300ft AGL. This delay allows any usable time for either the main to open (if the jumper pitched low and the canopy sniveled) preventing a 2-out, or allow the jumper to use any valuable time to try and deal with a main malfunction and clear the air above the reserve prior to automatic activation in an attempt to prevent a duel entanglement malfunction.

This ability eliminates the need for the jumper to manually adjust the activation altitude. I would like to note that the jumper will be able to adjust the DZ elevation for a remote DZ which is one way some jumpers are raising the activation altitudes on their AADs now, but it should be noted that doing this also raises the altitude where the AAD will no longer fire, usually around 300ft ish AGL.

Question: "What makes this AAD any different?".  One thing is that this AAD is able to identify where it is during a flight. The Situational Awareness graphic shows the flight mode changes that this AAD actually identifies every jump. This ability allows this AAD to resist firing in an aircraft regardless of the altitude and descent rate. It also allows for the detection of a main deployment, if it has malfunctioned or has opened and is flying, and if so, locks out the ability to fire regardless of the jumper's descent rate while under canopy (preventing a two out due to a high performance landing).

 It can also detect a cutaway, and if a reserve deployment is not detected in 4 seconds, it will determine an activation altitude based on the jumper's real time descent rate and a 300ft reserve over head altitude, and if a reserve deployment is not detected by that altitude, the AAD will activate. This allows for a delayed reserve activation provided the altitude is available, as there are times when a delay between a cutaway and reserve activation is beneficial, and I do not want to take that "pilot in command" decision making power away from the jumper. I am however comfortable in saying "times up"..lol.

blob.png.cae38cb594f747b5a8897012e79b2e3a.png

The Dynamic Activation graphic below shows the difference in activation altitudes based on speed and if a main deployment has been detected or not.

blob.png.593068dfc6e22f8b86c818eba48418c1.png 

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I am always surprised how fast time goes by when one is having fun lol.. I didn’t mean to go this long without an update, so I will bring everyone up to speed.

My team and I have been focused on the military AADs (Static Line and Manned Free Fall) fine tuning the hardware and firing algorithms, and I am pleased with how each AAD is turning out. I am trying to be mindful of the workload, as I do not want to burn my team out, so the evolvement has been slower but steady.

Now that my confidence in the military AADs is high, I will be turning my attention to the Sport AAD hardware and firing algorithms. It was my initial intention that the military and sport hardware would be the same, but the features that the military is asking for require hardware and software that is not of value to the sport market, and in an effort to keep the cost of the sport AAD down and reduce power consumption, dedicated sport AAD hardware is needed.

Fortunately, the changes are mostly elimination of components, such as the BLE, and changing out the 32MB Micro SD-card with smaller but less power hunger onboard memory, so the revision design effort will not be bad. It just takes time to make the changes and have them reviewed, update based on the results of the review, resubmit for design review, yada yada.. Very important process, but can take some time.

I also have been making some changes to little things from a “fit and finish/feel/perception” perspective. So far the changes have increased quality feel and performance while reducing the cost. Details are important to me and I am glad we are taking our time to get it right.

After taking with many jumpers of varying backgrounds, it is very apparent that the skydiving industry is not ready to embrace some of the things that I wanted to carry over from the automotive industry, mainly the remote monitoring of the AAD self test results. Infrastructure challenges aside, jumpers are just not ready for that, so I am shelving that feature for the sport AAD. One positive side to doing that is I can eliminate the BLE circuitry and code; however there will still be a Micro USB connector in the interface.

As if all that is not enough, I am also looking at different business models in an effort to identify which ones make the most business sense as we come closer to going to market. There are a lot of moving parts and the right strategic partner can increase the success dramatically. I keep telling myself  “if this was easy everyone would be doing it” lol..

 

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On 12/2/2019 at 11:58 PM, rdufokker said:

Is there a tentative release date?  How will you be selling these? Direct or through other retail stores?

 

Bruno

Good questions; and ones that I have been asking myself for a while now lol.

Because the sport AAD hardware and software will piggyback on the military free fall AAD it’s evolvement time period should be accelerated and I want to be jumping Beta sport AADs this spring. Now I know I have said that in the past, however the opportunities to apply our technology to the military applications swooped in and we pushed the sport AAD to the side. Now that both military AADs are at a point where we are tidying up things, the sport AAD is front and center.

I made the decision some time ago to self fund instead of taking on additional investors or outside money because I wanted to be able to take the time I feel/felt is/was necessary to achieve the level of performance and quality that I want before I would trust it on the backs of other jumpers and I put my name behind it.

I decided that it makes the most sense to get all three AADs to a demonstration level to prove they can do what I say they can, and see what opportunities, if any, can be identified that would be beneficial to my team and investors, which is where my looking at different business models comes into play.

How we sell them may very well be dependent on a strategic partnership yet to be identified; for example, Bill Booth has Vigil America, SSK has Airtec, and Alti-2 jumped on Mars. Is there someone else that wants to get in on the next generation of advanced AADs and snatch us up? Time will tell, but for now I am focused on getting an airworthy sport AAD in the air. 

The right partner / backer could greatly accelerate the path to market for the sport AAD once it is ready. The exciting part is we are a few months away from getting in the air.

I know that doesn’t answer your questions, and I don’t mean to make excuses. If you are asking about a release date because you are looking for a new AAD, my advice is, if you want an AAD to not wait for mine to come out and get one of the three currently available, which you can sell once mine is available  : )

Although this AAD will work fine for “Traditional” skydiving disciplines, the target markets will be Wingsuiters and High Performance Canopy Pilots as it will operate in all phases of those jumps without compromising performance at any point between the plane and the ground, and will not need/use any peripheral devices, such as an audible.

Keep an eye on this thread as you never know what tomorrow may bring!

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