That’s one smart parachute!

MMIST

Category: Sherpa Guided Parachute | 23/04/2007 - 09:50:10

Sherpa Guided Parachute

Your platoon is on patrol in the mountains of Afghanistan and you need to be re-supplied but this presents problems: there are no roads, the enemy is close to landing aircraft and low level re-supply drops are deemed too risky. The only option is a high-level airdrop that will not scatter the supplies too far.

With this purpose in mind, the Canadian Forces Land Advanced Warfare Centre Airborne Trials and Evaluation Section (ATES) has undertaken trials of the Canadian Joint Precision Aerial Delivery Standoff System (CJPADSS) at the Primrose Lake Evaluation Range in Cold Lake, Alberta.

The CJPADSS system is being tested using the Sherpa 2200, which is a large ram-air parachute, guided autonomously using the global positioning system (GPS) that is programmed by a laptop computer either on the ground or in the air. Once released from the aircraft, the system guides itself to the drop point and is accurate to within 77 meters, thereby requiring less time of ground troops to locate and gather the dropped supplies.

Technician Trevor Fitzpatrick of Mist Mobility Integrated Systems Technology Inc., a manufacturer of precision aerial delivery systems, does a safety inspection on a 2200 lb. load with the Sherpa guided parachute delivery system.

The GPS guided system eliminates the need for an operator or a homing beacon on the ground. Another advantage is that it can be dropped from a high altitude thereby eliminating the need for low level passes which reveal to the opposing force the location of the supply drop zone. In addition, flying at a higher altitude will keeps aircraft safe from enemy small arms fire.

"I think that this is going to be huge to the soldiers on the ground," stated Captain Paul Pavese, ATES for the Army.

Sherpa Guided Parachute

Technician Trevor Fitzpatrick of Mist Mobility Integrated Systems Technology Inc., a manufacturer of precision aerial delivery systems, does a safety inspection on a 2200 lb. load with the Sherpa guided parachute delivery system.

"It's not something new and it's not going to replace the way we do business right now. What it's going to do is give us another option when the aircraft can't come in low or you can't get a resupply convoy into an area and you absolutely need to get 2 000 lbs of supplies into a high risk area." As well, the system will increase accuracy of the resupply drops. "This is very important to the Air Force," added Captain Art Jordan, CJPADSS project manager.

"We spend a lot of time and effort training to get supplies on time and on target. Any tools that we have in the inventory to help us do that and help us get supplies when and where they are needed is of paramount importance to the Air Force." The system is not currently in use with the Canadian Forces but the US Special Forces and Marines have used it extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan. The system is being evaluated at Cold Lake in the hope that it can be introduced in late 2007.

For further reading on the Sherpa guided parachute delivery system, please click on this link: http://mmist.ca/Sherpa%20Brochure.pdf

COLD LAKE, Alberta