Initial Experiment in Using a Powered Parafoil for Employment of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS)

Report No. ARL-TR-3347
Authors: Michael A. Kolodny
Date/Pages: October 2004; 24 pages
Abstract: Experiments were run by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory at Yuma Proving Ground, AZ, on 10 and 12 June 2004 to obtain an initial assessment of the viability of using a powered parafoil as an unmanned air vehicle for employment of Future Combat System intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance unattended ground sensors (UGS). These experiments were conducted as an adjunct to the testing of the parafoil for the Special Operations Command Wind-Supported Air Delivery System program. Three flights were flown which dispensed UGS mass mock-ups. Two of the flights used manually released UGS while the third flight was operated autonomously. The experiments were designed to give an initial quick look assessment of the dispersions that might be expected in UGS parafoil employment. The initial assessment indicates that the powered parafoil is a viable air delivery platform. Control of the UGS release is good and dispersions in landing areas are minimal. Maximum dispersion for a drop of three nodes was about 7 m from the centroid of the landing locations. Dispersions were typically less than 3 m.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2004