GPS guided paracargo for firefighters

This autonomous paracargo system could come in handy for resupplying firefighters at night or during during smoky conditions.

From the BLM:

Thousands of pounds of supplies are delivered to firefighters each season. JPAD or Joint Position Air Drop allows smokejumpers to drop GPS-guided paracargo in low-visibility conditions.

This system is a fully autonomous GPS-guided military airdrop, using steerable parachutes and an onboard computer to steer paracargo to a precise location. Video courtesy of AFS fire personnel.

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3 thoughts on “GPS guided paracargo for firefighters”

  1. In the off-season, I flew a lot of experimental parachute operations for the development of various drop systems, including guided parachute delivery systems. I’m just a pilot and jumper and mechanic, and only flew the loads, but the science and the effort that went into the design, testing, and development of those systems was really a wonder to behold. One of the men instrumental in the development of those systems is, I believe, the only person in the world to have put parachute delivery vehicles on five planets. I had an opportunity to work with him and his colleagues closely each year, testing everything from airborne rescue to emergency egress to all kinds of delivery systems and techniques from low level to high altitude.

    It’s easy to watch a jump and imagine it’s simply a drift down from a given altitude, but what goes on in the development of these systems is much more. Every drop was accompanied by a plethora of sensors and test equipment (and often in free fall or exit by jumpers) and was just the tip of the iceberg of the entire design and development process. The men and women who operate those programs are professional, nearly always very understated and humble and absolutely dedicated to what they do. It’s said that there’s no such thing as a dumb question, but I’d often ask one, and they’d take the time to patiently answer it anyway, as we went along. It was a real privilege to see them work and to have a small hand in helping with just that tip of the ‘berg.

    It’s exciting to see some of those projects applied operationally, doing good.

  2. The system used by the USFS is from Wamore, Inc of Phoenix, AZ.
    Wamore and the USFS tailored and customized the system to meet the unique and specific requirements of forest fire fighting.

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