Title: PARACHUTE JUMP TESTING OF PORTABLE GPS RECEIVERS
Author(s): Paul Braisted
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 36, Number 2
Pages: 205 - 218
Cite this article: Braisted, Paul, "PARACHUTE JUMP TESTING OF PORTABLE GPS RECEIVERS", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer 1989, pp. 205-218.
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Abstract: The 3-dimensional position and velocity information provided by GPS makes it particularly interesting for vehicles that do not maintain a constant altitude, such as airplanes and helicopters. Much has been published about aircraft as platforms for GPS receivers. There is a type of “vehicle” for which altitude is the most important dimension-the parachute jumper. Whether in freefall or flying under a parachute canopy, the skydiver is powered by gravity. Position, velocity, and acceleration in the vertical dimension are of vital importance. Altitude lost can never be regained, making it the primary resource to be managed. Until recently, however, GPS receivers have been too bulky, heavy, and power-hungry to be carried safely by a skydiver. This paper presents the experiences and results of two series of tests in which portable GPS receivers were carried by a freefall parachutist. Position and velocity solutions were recorded during the jumps for later playback and analysis.