ADELPHI, Md. (May 11, 2016) — Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have developed a new system that will enhance the capabilities of U.S. Army Pathfinders as they conduct aerial operations.In response to a Request for Information from the U.S. Army-Africa to remove what is known as the pilot balloon from the battlefield, ARL undertook a program to reduce the size, weight and power of current commercial-off-the-shelf Doppler Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR, systems.The pilot balloon is a small, helium-filled balloon that is released and tracked to measure a wind profile in support of personnel and precision airdrop operations.Partnering with two companies, Beyond Photonics and Halo Photonics, ARL has developed a Man-Portable Doppler, or MPDL, LiDAR system that meets the requirements.The total system weighs less than 45 pounds, is under two cubic feet and operates on standard 24-volt batteries with required power of less than 100 watts.
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