New App Guides Commandos Parachuting Into Danger

Special operations personnel parachuting through the sky

Image credit: Wired

By Spencer Ackerman

Jumping out of an airplane wasn’t exactly a precision mission. Until now.

Sure, executing a jump takes precision: troops need to descend 25,000 feet onto a very specific spot, sometimes in hostile territory. But jumpers didn’t exactly have a guidance system to make sure they get to where they’re going.

A team comprising the Texas-based defense firm Nanohmics and Florida’s Complete Parachute Solutions is trying to change that. They’ve designed what may be a first — an avionics system for parachutists. Loaded onto a phone running either Android, Windows or Linux or a five-pound ruggedized laptop, the software, known as Glideline, calculates the variables of a pre-jump mission and even helps the parachutist stay on target as he descends.


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