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U.S. Army Soldier & Biological Chemical Command
U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
(508) 233-5340
amssb-opa@natick.army.mil

Date: July 26, 2001
No: 01-44

Initial test of prototype precision airdrop system successful

Natick, Mass. --- Precision Aerial Delivery (PAD) prototype equipment, data processing and system procedures were successfully tested at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) aboard an Air Force C-130E July 12.

The system provides onboard, real-time sophisticated modeling of load release, fall trajectory, and aircraft dynamics to improve the accuracy of high-altitude airdrops.

Two Container Delivery System loads (2,225 pounds and 1,485 pounds), each with standard 26-foot parachute canopies, were deployed from near 10,000 feet above ground level on two separate passes.

Impact points were within 98 meters and 130 meters of the intended point, which is considered very good performance, especially for an initial test.

The model that was tested used high-resolution atmospheric forecast fields and real-time atmospheric wind profile data received in-flight from a Global Positioning System (GPS)-based free-falling wind probe released from the drop aircraft, which enabled the PAD team to update and refine the Computed Aerial Release Point in real-time while aboard the aircraft.

The test was flown by a crew deployed from the Combat Aerial Delivery School (CADS), Little Rock AFB, Arkansas.

The system is the result of a four-year development effort of the PAD Team, consisting of the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command's Natick Soldier Center, Planning Systems Incorporated, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, the CADS and the YPG.

The Air Force Research Laboratory Office of Scientific Research sponsored system development as part of the Air Force New World Vistas - Precision Aerial Delivery program, with Natick Soldier Center managing integration, test and evaluation.

YPG will be conducting additional tests and proof-of-concept aerial demonstrations of the prototype system in August and September at altitudes up to 18,000 feet above mean sea level.

Natick is part of the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM). For more information about SBCCOM or the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (Natick), please visit our website at http://www.sbccom.army.mil.

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