Parks College Parachute Research Group
Outline of the presentation at the 2011 Parachute Industry Association Symposium
Computer Programs for Inflation Modeling, Opening Shock, and Design
presented by Jean Potvin and Gary Peek
This presentation will describe a number of computer programs the Group has written
over the years for simulating the opening characteristics of parachutes. Some of the
programs are available for download on the Group's web site at www.pcprg.com.
This presentation will include a live demonstration of the program running
on a laptop computer, as a means of demonstrating many of the features of
PIMS, as well as comparisons with actual test drop data. The audience will
also be invited to watch PIMS produce simulations of parachute systems with
parameters specifed by the audience.
- PIMS, the Parachute Inflation Modeling Suite, a Windows-based computer program
for the inflation simulation of several types of parachute used by the military as
well as by sport parachutists
- OSCALC, the Opening Shock Calculator, a free Windows-based computer program for the
computation of parachute opening shock.
- PIFCALC, the Parachute Inflation Calculator, a free Windows-based computer program
for the computation of the opening shock of manned parachutes, including sport parachutes.
A related document is paper AIAA-2007-2551, Testing Without Load Cells - Can Opening
Shock Be Estimated From Video Data Only?
- TCDCALC, the Truncated Cone Decelerator (TCD) parachute design calculator,
a free Windows-based computer program to help calculate the characteristics of a TCD.
About the PCPRG
Started in 1995, the Parks College Parachute Research Group (or PRG) is a university-based
Research and Development organization dedicated to the scientific study of the parachute. Located
St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO, the PRG is a small group of faculty members, their students and a
professional consultant working towards a better experimental and theoretical understanding of
parachute inflation and flight. Current scientific investigations include a study of ram-air cell
pressurization occurring during inflation, and a long term study of riser loading on a large
number of sport ram-air canopies. Some of this work has been done with the support of industrial
partners such as Irvin Aerospace, Performance Designs and Paranetics Technology.
As a professor at St. Louis University, he has been involved in parachute
reserch since 1994. His main interest is the study of the aero-physics of
the inflation process. He has also been involved in wind tunnel studies
and flight tests of sub-scalle and full-scale parachutes. Co-founder of the
Parks College Parachute Research Group with Gary Peek he acts as its science
and data analysis coordinator. He has a PhD. in Physics from the University
of Colorado. He is an active parachutist with over 2580 jumps and a FAA
Senior Parachute Rigger with Chest, Back, and Seat type ratings.
Jean has been a speaker at 5 previous PIA International Parachute
Symposiums on several parachute research group topics.
Gary Peek is an active jumper with over 7500 jumps, an FAA rated Master
Parachute Rigger with Back and Chest type ratings, a Commercial Pilot
and jump pilot, and a skydiving photographer and videographer. He holds
USPA Static Line, IAD, AFF, and Tandem Instructor/Examiner ratings and
actively teaches student skydivers in all of these training methods.
He has worked in the electronics field in the St. Louis area for many
years and has combined his knowledge of electronics with parachutes
and skydiving for a number of those years. He co-founded Industrologic,
Inc., an industrial electronics company that now manufactures equipment
related to parachute drop testing.
In addition to writing computer programs and providing clip art related
to skydiving, he also is an author of many articles that have appeared in
aviation and skydiving publications. He is the author of the Equipment
Color Programs published by Para Publishing and has been doing research
on skydiving fall rate using electronic devices since 1990.
Gary has been a speaker at 7 previous PIA International Parachute
Symposiums on a variety of topics.