Fabric with Variable Air Permeability for Use in Parachutes
Identification and Significance of the Problem or Opportunity. Current Military parachute canopies are constructed from cloth that has a fixed air permeability. The level of air permeability in a fabric significantly affects the opening speed of the parachute, filling time, opening shock and rate of descent. The air permeability of the fabric remains cannot be altered once the canopy is constructed. Through the control the permeability of the fabric, the parachute canopies could be adapted in flight to provide improved stability, controlled descent, and even some directional control. The ability to actively change the fabric air permeability during flight will be beneficial to personnel and cargo airdrop. Actively altering the fabric permeability in all or portions of the canopy surface will allow the parachute designer to tailor the parachute performance during the canopy inflation and during steady descent for round parachutes or alter the lift and drag characteristics of guided parachutes for enhanced performance and higher accuracy.
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