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Conceptual and Preliminary Design of a Low-Cost Precision Aerial Delivery System

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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The Army and Air Force have interest in the development of a Joint Precision Aerial Delivery SystemJPADS that could remotely and accurately resupply dispersed and geographically isolated ground forces. The Marine Corps has requested options that offer increased accuracy, lighter payloads, greater stand-off distances and reduced cost. To date, most research has resulted in a series of large, expensive and platform specific solutions, which do not capitalize on the enhanced range and capability afforded by existing and commercially available unmanned aerial system technology. The systems engineering processes contained in the conceptual and preliminary design phases are utilized to investigate and develop a potentially low-cost alternative to existing systems. Using an Agile methodology, individual components are designed and incorporated into an integrated aerial system that utilizes an autonomously guided and controlled ram-air parachute delivered from an unmanned aerial platform. Employment of the low-cost micro-light weight class of JPADS has the potential to provide all services with a near-term platform to remotely deliver diverse logistical and sensor payloads while minimizing risk to forces.

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