df8m1

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    Napoleon Skydiving Center
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    29633
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    uspa
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    1550
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    12
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    Formation Skydiving
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  1. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    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!
  2. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    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..
  3. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    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. The Dynamic Activation graphic below shows the difference in activation altitudes based on speed and if a main deployment has been detected or not.
  4. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    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.
  5. And now a jumper who is whistling in can think to themselves, "Boy... I'm glad my AAD battery is only 13 years old" lol.. Batteries are cheep IMO
  6. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    You are not a race car guy are you? lol.. the seat belts in "daily drivers" are pretty much the same as you pointed out, but a 5 point race car seat belt is very different, as it is designed for a wide variety of extreme conditions.. I like you seat belt comparison.. the current AADs do just fine for the type of jumping that they were designed for (and I have consistently said that ), just like standard seat belts do just fine for every day driving, which they were designed for.. But like a race car 5 point harness that is designed for wider range of extreme conditions, this AAD is designed for wingsuit and HP Canopy flight conditions, and can do both without specific modes that only let you chose one or the other. Is it overkill for your type of jumping?... sounds like it.. This is a good conversation as I can see that I am going to have to figure out how to better covey that this AAD will handle "pro, wingsuit, and CP" conditions without needing separate "modes".. they are all handled in one "mode' (to keep the terminology consistent) I am in the camp that "Student Mode" AADs are not a good thing, but that is a different topic for a different thread.. I do not recall ever hearing of a Tandem AAD not doing the job, so I see no need, at this point, to have a Sport Tandem SKU on the shelf.. There will be military tandem AADs for sure, but until the sport market indicates that the demand is there for an advanced tandem AAD, I think the current AADs have it covered. This is a competition race car level product, and you are correct that most of the jumpers are covered by the current AADs. Jumpers that are strictly looking at price have three other options, the ones that want more performance will have an option soon.
  7. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    I actually think that so much flexibility in an AAD is a horrible idea. If that was possible you'll have all sorts of misconfigured AADs and a spike in misfires. People don't know how to turn off their VISOs, why should we play with AADs settings that freely and dangerously? Multimode AADs and user selectable altitude are already a possibility. And despite that simplicity there were misfires. Well if they offer a wingsuit AAD, then most of the demands for AAD modes will be met. But to date, aside from the really overpriced and quite strange Cypress WS AAD, there are no WS AAD modes. Set your AAD to pro and you risk no fire on a WS. Set it to student and you risk a two-out if you swoop. Why not have an AAD mode that activates at 60 MPH instead? It will allow canopy work that is within the realm of what most WS fliers would be doing, but not so low that it would risk a two out. If I think of the foundation of design and operating philosophy of the current AADs like a family tree, even though the three AADs that are available today have their own branch, they are all running parallel in that at their foundation, they are using the same information to base decisions on. This approach was sufficient 20+ years ago.. but today with High performance canopy piloting and Wingsuits as individual disciplines, as well as potentially blended, the limited functionality leaves little recourse but to try to "split the difference" in the firing speed, which has the propensity to make it inert to in one phase of the jump or another. My approach is vastly different, and my branch will be 90 degrees off of the trunk of the AAD family tree. My target markets are the wingsuits and HP canopy pilots. You mentioned price and I see it this way.. It comes down to the value proposition.. This AAD will not be cheep, but it will be within range of the current WS AAD, only it will offer a lot of advanced functionality for that price. What are you buying for the money?? is it polished 20 + year old technology (which still works fine for the types of jumps it was developed for), or is it up to date with increased capability that is compatible with today's disciplines? This AAD will be able to handle any type of jump from an aircraft without modes and without operational compromise or peripheral devices that indicate if the AAD is doing what it is supposed to do, (not that their is anything wrong with that, I just see it as unnecessary). This AAD collects enough data, that if properly processed, you can generate a 3-D image of the jumper throughout the jump. I look at it like the current AADs are equivalent to flip phones, and this AAD is a smart phone. Each will have their place in the market. Technology has changed a lot in 20 years. I am just applying it to an AAD and utilizing its capability.
  8. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    I actually think that so much flexibility in an AAD is a horrible idea. If that was possible you'll have all sorts of misconfigured AADs and a spike in misfires. People don't know how to turn off their VISOs, why should we play with AADs settings that freely and dangerously? Multimode AADs and user selectable altitude are already a possibility. And despite that simplicity there were misfires. First I would like to say that I really do appreciate every thought and comment and encourage everyone to post them. I am in the camp of most people should not be allowed to mess with AADs... What could possibly go wrong lol.. Predictable performance is a big deal. If someone is jumping a reserve that takes longer than 3 seconds to open, I'd say they have other problems that need to be delt with... Needing different firing speeds during a jump is a different, and very real problem all together.. Confidence in the AADs ability to correctly identify the flight mode that the jumper is in, is paramount. I think that a wingsuit pilot should be able to swoop the pond without sacrificeing activation performance during any phase of the jump... And I am doing it without an audible...
  9. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    How about a touch screen?!
  10. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    That is a work around for the current AADs. This one is very different.. "dynamic" comes to mind when describing it, but I am not sure that is the right term.. If you read back though the thread, I have described how the firing altitude is arrived at and self adjusts within a window of speed and altitude in the effort to get a canopy over head by around 500ft. If it detects a main deployment just before the primary firing hard deck, then it will delay firing until the point of no return hard deck, which is dependent on the descent rate of the jumper. The point of no return hard deck is based on a lower canopy over head altitude. This delay gives the main as much time to open without automatically getting two out, or gives the jumper as much time as possible to deal with a malfunction in an effort to avoid firing a reserve into a main malfunction unless that is the only option left. It can also determine if the jumper is under canopy or is flying a wingsuit so there is no need to sacrifice performance in one phase of a jump in order not to fire when it shouldn’t in another. There is no need for Pro, Expert, Wingsuit, etc settings.. I also don’t see a need for a Student Mode or model. The only Mode it would need to be put in would be Tandem, if I decide that I want to offer it for tandems; the only difference being the firing altitudes for tandems. Now I can only imagine the dressing down I am going to get for not wanting (at the present) to offer student or tandem AADs lol… Thank you for your suggestions! Do you have any questions regarding how I have previously addressed the reasons for wanting manually adjustable settings?
  11. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    Thought I would take a moment and post an update... I have been jumping a rev-1 alpha military EEAAD all summer collecting jump data and evaluating battery performance. Last April all of the AAD manufacturers were invited to come and meet with Army Research to discuss the performance requirements for the EEAAD, and to “pitch” each of our AADs.. It sounds like the Army has started the RFP process over and is adding the features that they liked from each AAD to the requirement, so we are in a holding pattern until the new requirement comes out. Although the military EEAAD is our primary focus at present, for obvious reasons, the sport version is not to far behind. Based on what we have learned testing this summer, some changes will be made to the sport version, specifically to enhance battery life, as the military and sport operational requirements are different. This summer has been fun, and I have had a lot of great conversations with many people about this AAD and AADs in general. On several occasions it was brought up that it would be great if an AAD was capable of cutting away a main if it spun up (regarding super tiny canopy test jumpers).. When I tell them that this AAD platform as two separate firing circuits, and with the right program, could handle that no problem, they get real quiet lol… It is like they were asking for the impossible and I say “our AAD platform could do that”, and they don’t know how to react lol.. Algorithm enhancement is down to fine tuning, splitting hares almost in some ways.. My focus is on reliability, performance, and simplicity; it’s nice when all three can be increased with the same change. Now that winter is almost here and jumping is reduced to only “as required”, the focus goes back to hardware and data analysis. Data from every jump is run through the simulation so I know on a weekly basis if a problem has been identified, so the algorithms are always up to date. I also will continue to generate custom data sets to create specific situations in order to see how the algorithms handle them. It won’t be much longer now
  12. df8m1

    Altimeter Inaccuracies?

    Please clarify the distinction between deployment and deployment detection, and how canopy detection differs from
  13. df8m1

    Altimeter Inaccuracies?

    Full Disclosure: I am working on a new AAD.. This discussion made me take a look at the AAD altimeter readings from the point where the deployment is detected and when the vertical descent rate is
  14. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    Thanks for the input. I was not sure if Vigil retained the "off set" for a different DZ landing altitude. This AAD will have a preset reserve activation of 1000 to 900 ft, and will automatically increase the activation altitude proportionate to speed above XXX ft/sec to compensate for the additional distance traveled during reserve deployment due to the higher speed. The goal is to have an open reserve at a consistent altitude regardless of the jumpers descent rate at the time of reserve deployment. The Max increase will be 250Ft which would be at the Max TSO Placarded speed. This automatic increase in altitude above XXX Ft/Sec speed is to help prevent jumpers going in at reserve line stretch after an AAD fire at extreme free fall speeds. Now I know there are people probibly screaming at their monitors that automaticly increaseing the Resereve activation altitude will increase the chance of a two out situation. To address that, this AAD is able to detect a main deployment, and if it has detected a main deploument it automaticly adjusts the Reserve fire altitude to a lower "point of no return" altitude which again is dependent on the jumpers descent rate. If they have a high speed bag lock, they will not have as much time to deal with it as they would with a lower speed malfunction. The Smart Reserve Activation altitude in intended to allow as much time for a normal AAD fired reserve activation to occur, prevent a reserve fire from low pitch and snively canopy, and allow the jumper as much time as allowable to clear a malfunction before the AAD fires the Reserve should it be necessary. Now that I have gone off into the weeds.. My original thinking was to maintain the DZ Offset until manually cleared or the AAD is turned off. The key aspect with this AAD, as with any piece of equipment, is to not only know how to use it, but to know what it is going to do. It is starting to get exciting now that I am at the point where I have to nail down the little details..
  15. df8m1

    New AAD made in USA

    Quick question I hope... In regards to offsetting DZ altitude... As far as I am aware, every AAD currently available requires the user to set the off set before every jump, or in other words, the offset clears upon landing and will need to be reset before the next jump if the jumping back into the same DZ from the same airport. I do not recall hearing people grumbling about having to off set the DZ altitude for every jump, and there has to be a few DZs that take off from one location and the DZ is at a different altitude. Would it be preferable to have the offset remain until either the jumper clears the off set or the AAD is turned off? Or is requiring it to be set on every jump not a big deal? Thanks in advance :)