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GPS parachutes are now being used to supply troops out in the field

The continued wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to numerous technological improvements in vehicles, armor, and other breakthroughs that can be used during future missions.

GPS-guided bombs have become increasingly popular. Likewise, the military plans to use GPS-based technology to help supply blood and other medical supplies to soldiers out in the field.  This is crucial because military leaders in Afghanistan are looking to reduce the number of manned convoys out on roads where insurgents plant IEDs and engage in small arms fire.

This new GPS parachute will help keep Marines off the road while also ensuring blood and medical supplies reach their intended targets.

As part of the Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPADS), it'd be possible for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and C-130s to drop parachutes with varying payloads.  Payloads can vary in weight from 150 up to 60,000 pounds, and a small stabilizing chute is responsible for ensuring the payload remains at the proper speed.

Depending on the terrain and payload, JPADS will then deploy a parafoil used to steer the parachute to a specific location.

"A medic might be traveling light and lean. Then something happens," said Air Force Maj. David Lincoln, ASBP project consultant, in a statement.  "He calls in one of these deliveries and boom — a care package comes down and they have everything they need to treat a casualty."

There are challenges facing researchers, including a difficult task of limiting the damage altitude, shock and temperature have on the blood.





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