Rapid Sample Transport in Austere Environments
Attaining rapid transportation of samples 50-1000 miles in an austere environment requires air transportation. Past applications have included UAV"s which transport the sample to selected location and drop the sample via guided parachute These systems can be quite accurate but they are expensive and relatively large. Balloons are an attractive alternative. They are inexpensive, compact and can be quite efficient at transporting reasonable loads long distances. When coupled with an active altitude control system, wind prediction can be employed to guide the balloon to desired regions. Key to this operation is good knowledge of and dynamic forecasting of nearby wind structures. Nanohmics proposes to develop a sample balloon delivery system that incorporates room temperature stabilization of biological samples, GPS and 2 way satellite communications, active altitude control system, onboard computer control of communications, wind measurement and prediction and flight path optimization. Passive temperature control will be applied to the sample and instrumentation and direct integration with JPADS or other meteorological reporting and modeling applications. This system can be controlled remotely or flown autonomously. This effort will build on Nanohmics"s past experience in the development of the GlideLine parachutist navigation system.
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