Air Force Research Lab engineers in Rome, N.Y., have devised a method called Single Pass Airdrop, or SPAiD, that allows cargo airplanes to conduct high-altitude airdrops in one pass, announced lab officials, April 3, 2012. The current airdrop process requires platforms like the C-130 and C-17 to make two passes over the intended drop zone before releasing their loads, thereby putting the aircraft at greater risk to threats. SPAiD entails using an MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft to release a sonde that measures wind speeds and direction and transmits that information to the crews in the transport airplanes so that they can accurately deliver their cargo. Here, an illustration depicting the SPAiD concept.
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