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UDME and his associates designed the Astra for external mounting. This high visibility allows for easy "Gear check" on the Astra's operational status and is therefore a significant improvement to safety.

The Astra is easily field tested, using the Cutter Test Probe, for firing accuracy and function by any approved rigger using any test chamber that shows altitude and rate of descent. Because the Astra can be functionally tested in the field there is no requirement for mandatory expensive and inconvenient factory overhaul.

Field replaceable modular components allow any rigger to do all field changes on the Astra. Modular components facilitate installation allowing cables to be disconnected and the narrower ends easily fed through sleeves etc.

The Astra is very quick and easy to install.

Simple and quick to operate, accessible but well protected Astra On/off switch operation is an advantage e.g. under canopy compared to a time consuming "multiple response" system while at the same time preventing accidental operation.

The flashing indicator light that constantly shows correct program function is a positive indication that the Astra Central Processing Unit is actually checking altitude and rate of decent.

Sensors are in the Altitude Control Unit, so the Astra is not attitude sensitive. If the sensor unit were in the battery pack inside the container, an "adjustment factor" would need to be added which leads to erroneous readings if unusual attitudes occur.

The Astra has a capacitor in the battery box to ensure that as long as the indicator light is flashing that there will always be sufficient charge to fire the cutter. Without a capacitor it would be possible for a unit to indicate a satisfactory battery condition but there may not be sufficient charge to fire the cutter.

Robust machined aluminum Astra Control Unit case prevents breakage. A similarly machined aluminum battery case prevents the hazard of leaking acid into the reserve container. The smooth rounded corners on the space saving low volume battery pack prevent wear spots in the reserve container and permit mounting in the main container.

Robust heavy duty cable connections prevent accidental disconnect or breakage.

High level of EMF protection.

US manufactured but locally serviced.

Inexpensive battery packs that do not have to be replaced if the unit has fired. Battery voltages easily checked by any commercial Multitester.

Low initial purchase price and cost of maintenance.

The program design allows recovery of firing altitude data for later analysis.