Logos Technologies has received a Phase I development contract from the US Army’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme to develop new approaches to significantly reduce the signature and increase the range of airdropped systems, the company announced on 26 January.
The contract will support research into signature reduction technologies for an airborne platform able to deliver materiel to troops without exposing itself or friendly positions. Logos believes that such a platform can also carry sensor and communications payloads for long-endurance operations.
“There are many scenarios where a powered paraglider would be superior to an unpowered airdrop in getting supplies to the warfighter,” explained Doug Rombough, the company’s VP of Business Development. “And given their ability to take off from unimproved runways in small clearings and their maneuverability in the air, powered paragliders allow for an even larger set of CONOPS [concepts of operations] to be developed.”
Powered paragliders, however, tend to have issues with acoustic and other signatures. This is where ParaHawk comes in. Developed and demonstrated in 2015, the hybrid-electric aircraft was designed to carry up to 200lbs in payload, to operate very quietly in ground effect and deliver a payload safely without landing.
Under the contract, Logos will build on its work on ParaHawk to identify, test, and demonstrate multiple approaches for practical radar, optical, infrared, and further acoustic signature reduction. In subsequent phases, technologies will be demonstrated that enhance the platform’s combination of simplicity, large payload, and long endurance. Once developed, these powered paragliders might also support additional missions, such as force protection, ISR and communications.
“We will be looking at different materials and configurations to do this, but based on the results of our earlier work, we are confident that we can add significantly to Army capabilities,” Rombough added.