Monday, January 18, 2010

Air-Drop Food and Water Packets on Haiti!

There are a few subjects that may be even more important than improved nuclear energy and one of those is saving human lives. This Blog post is slightly off our general focus area but a sufficiently good idea to deserve treatment here.

Some really bright guys, Dr. Bill Wattenberg of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Dr. Richard Muller of UC Berkeley, have a great idea for a way to save lives in earthquake devastated Haiti

For years, our military has had a sure-fire method to quickly and safely distribute food to refugees, without creating dangerous mob-scenes. US based C-130 transport planes are less than three hours away from Haiti and could be used to save many lives. Centralized distribution tends to get diverted to only the strong and well armed. We should use a tactic proven to work in previous relief efforts in Bosnia and Kurdistan where we used a technique called a freefall door bundle airdrop which drops individual food and relief supplies from the back of C-130 cargo planes such that the drop spreads individual items over a broad area (football field size or slightly larger). Door Bundle drops are one of the simplest of airdrop methods. In a door bundle airdrop, the cargo plane simply pushes out the bundled but unpalletized individual relief items in the load out the back of the plane at the appropriate time. Most individual food and relief items (bread, granola bars, etc) dropped from a cargo plane quickly reach terminal velocity and land safely without parachutes. Individual bottles of water impact the ground with greater kinetic energy and should either be deployed with individual parachutes or dropped on unpopulated areas like hillsides.

The following video shows a freefall door bundle airdrop delivery of up to 18tons of required food to the people of the Southern Sudan Region.

Video of dispersed style air-drop of relief supplies

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