NASA uses dropsondes for a variety of different research efforts including atmospheric measurements in hurricanes, atmospheric rivers and over remote areas such as the Arctic and Antarctic. The added capability of the guided, range capable dropsonde would allow greater flexibility for data collection with the current applications and would expand the potential missions to include data collection over volcanic plumes and other hazardous environments, which are not feasible with current technology. The glide-kit is designed to be compatible with P-3, Global Hawk and other dispensing methods, allowing commercial feasibility for all NASA dropsonde applications.
Dropsondes are used by a number of different agencies both in the US and internationally, including NOAA, the US Air Force and NCAR. The glide-kit harness and the trajectory planning, guidance and control software are immediately applicable to all commercial uses of a dropsonde which would benefit from a cross range, guided capability. The technology is being independently developed for sonobuoys, and has potential commercial applications for other devices that have a cylindrical form factor and a need for some guided range capability, including supply delivery and sensor placement, with potential customers in the DoD, law enforcement and other agencies.