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Onyx Swarming Precision Parachutes

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October 5, 2006

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October 6, 2006 The shape of military technology continues to evolve in all directions and one of the most interesting we’ve seen in recent times comes from Atair Aerospace in the form of its inventive Onyx precision guided parachute systems. Onyx systems are autonomously guided parafoil systems designed to allow military cargo to be parachuted from high altitudes of up to 35,000 ft, autonomously glide for 30 miles, and land within 50 metres of a preprogrammed target. Atair is the first company to successfully develop autonomous agent swarming UAVs so the Onyx system includes Adaptive Control, Flocking/Swarming and Active Collision Avoidance capabilities which means in laymans terms that 50+ parachutes can be deployed in the same airspace, guiding to one or multiple targets without the possibility of midair collisions.

With this technology, multiple Onyx systems (50+) with payloads ranging from small ground sensors or small munitions to 2,200 lbs of mission-critical supplies can be airdropped from high altitude above the battlefield and all of them will find their way exactly to their intended recipients. Atair was recently awarded a US$3.2 million contract by the U.S. Army to supply Onyx systems.

Atair developed the Onyx precision guided parachute system under contract with the U.S. Army, and the LEAPP UAV under contract with DARPA and will be on show at next week’s Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Exposition in Washington.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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