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Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Center

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In 2001, the ADSC at NPS was established by three parties:

  • the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (currently renamed to the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC));
  • the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG); and
  • the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS)


The Memorandum of Understanding these three parties signed back then set up cooperative working relationship to identify and develop open technology areas and novel approaches/systems with maximum potential of providing critical improvements and new capabilities to Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems (ADS).

The goal of establishing the ADSC was to foster the advancement of ADS research and technology advancement among government agencies, academia and non-profit public institutions. Consequently, since 2001 the ADSC has been actively involved in development of several ADS and supporting systems. These include:

  • circular parachute and parafoil modeling;
  • system’s parameter identification;
  • guidance, navigation and control algorithms design;
  • computer, hardware-in-the-loop and field testing;
  • tracking of a descending ADS and image processing;
  • ADS trajectory analysis based on visual data provided by multiple stationary cameras;
  • ADS trajectory analysis based on data provided by onboard sensors;
  • usage of powered and unpowered ADS in littoral operations;
  • collaborative control of multiple ADS; and
  • others.

The success of these projects was only possible because of the hard work of about a dozen of NPS students and four NPS faculty members, backed by NSRDEC and NPS.

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