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GPS parachutes delivering blood to front lines in the coming years

Darren Murph

GPS-guided parachutes are nothing new -- in fact, we're guessing that a few are being dropped somewhere in this wide world right now -- but a new deal between the Armed Services Blood Program and US Joint Forces Command will allow these devices to start saving even more lives in 2011. As the story goes, a cadre of air-dropped 'chutes will be sent to the front lines of the battlefield in order to deliver vital blood to medics. For those unaware, blood loss is a major cause of death in war, and by skipping over the lengthy process that's currently in place for delivery, the powers that be feel that more soldiers can be saved. Reportedly, the JPADS system "is a family of guided parachutes that can carry payloads ranging from about 150 to 60,000 pounds," and at a predetermined altitude, a "parafoil deploys and a GPS-device steers supplies to an exact target." The new system, however, will rely on ultralight versions of the aforesaid JPADS in order to sneak into locations that were previously thought impossible to penetrate. 'Course, all of this will be a moot point once the robot armies rise to power and start pulverizing each other with scrap metal, but hey...

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