Stara Technologies, Mesa, Ariz., has devised a method for delivering medical supplies without risking human lives.
The Guided Resupply System (GRS) uses a miniature parachute to deliver between 50 and 100 lb of medical supplies from airplanes flying over an infected area. Supplies can be dropped from any airplane at altitudes up to 35,000 ft.
The system can place medical supplies within 75 ft of the target, without human intervention. The company claims GRS could be a significant asset to FEMA in the event of an Avian Flu outbreak. The system can launch from manned or unmanned aerial vehicles.
The GRS uses a fabric-wing parachute similar to but only 5% of the size of a skydiver's parachute. GPS signals provide navigation information while a tiny motor steers the parachute toward the target.
Efforts are under way to integrate GRS with the U.S. Army's Jpads windmeasurement system.