ONYX is a two-parachute system created by Atair Aerospace. It was developed as an intelligent parachute to autonomously guide airdropped supplies, allowing it to hit its target at an almost pin point accuracy. It has a static line deployed at an altitude up to 35,000 feet from an airplane or any aircraft.
An elliptical parafoil is used to initiate initial deployment and autonomous control. To determine its position and its bearing, an on-board flight computer is used that is fully integrated with a Global Positioning System (GPS) and Inertial Navigation Sensors (INS).
The system calculates its flight pattern up to the time it reaches the pre-programmed altitude and position. A second non-guided parachute will also deploy before the robot touches base, giving it a soft landing.
The United States Army has recently contracted Atair to develop its high precision-guided parachute system using the company’s technology.