Team for Advanced Flow Simulation and Modeling
For more information:
Simulation of a T-10 Payload Drop
Edith Arnold, T*AFSM
This project, which is a part of a research effort by the T*AFSM in
collaboration with US Army Natick Soldier Center, is an exploration of the
feasibility of reducing the descent speed of a paratrooper by reducing his
weight mid-drop. This is accomplished by dropping some of the equipment he
carries. The equipment must be attached to the paratrooper by a cable, to
ensure that he does not lose it during the landing. This means that if he
drops the payload too early for it to hit the ground without putting the cable
in tension it will apply a jerk to the paratrooper, thus increasing his
descent speed. This project includes several different simulations,
all using a T-10 parachute, to determine if the benefits of dropping the
weight to the ground exceed the risks of dropping it too early.
Figure 1: Veritcal velocities in a failed payload drop (i.e. a drop where the payload does not hit the ground, but pulls on the paratrooper). The force on the paratrooper causes significant oscillation in descent speed.
Figure 2: The canopy shape changes as the payload applies jerks to the paratrooper.
Simulations with nine different combinations of paratrooper and payload weight were carried out to determine the potential reduction in descent speed. A successful drop (i.e. one where the payload hits the ground without pulling the cable in tension) was simulated by reducing the mass of the point mass representing the paratrooper.
Figure 3: A successful drop can greatly reduce descent speed, especially for lighter paratroopers carrying heavier payloads.