QNA Applies WiPPRr for Airdrops to US Military Ground Forces

QinetiQ North America (QNA) recently received a $3M contract from the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) for its Wind Profiling Portable Radar (WiPPR®) technology.

WiPPR provides near real-time precision wind measurements which will enable C-130 and C-17 aircrews to airdrop critical supplies more accurately and quickly to U.S. ground forces in austere locations.

Under the contract, QNA will design and build a prototype airborne WiPPR unit that will be tested to demonstrate accurate wind measurement in near real-time.

Bob Polutchko, Vice President of QNA’s Emerging Markets

Airborne WiPPR is based on QNA’s commercially available ground based WiPPR Wind-Profiling Portable Radar technology.

WiPPR systems are available for research, weather, and commercial wind markets worldwide.

“Airborne WiPPR will provide the airdrop aircraft an organic capability to characterize the air mass and execute a “single-pass” precision resupply of troops in contact,” said Bob Polutchko, Vice President of QNA’s Emerging Markets.

“This capability will reduce the exposure of aircraft and aircrews to enemy countermeasures.”

QNA has a long history of providing operational systems to the US military that provide local meteorological data in support of critical operations including airdrop.

WiPPR is the next step in this operational capability.


QinetiQ North America’s WiPPR, Wind Profiling Portable Radar, provides in-situ, real-time wind  information used for a wide variety of applications including mission planning and data gathering.

WiPPR data increases the accuracy of forecast models and decreases miss distance during airdrop operations.


  • Uses little power
  • Easy setup
  • Intuitive operation
  • Minimal maintenance required
  • Smaller than comparable RADAR based systems
  • Portable: stationed on a trailer for easy transport
  • Provides wind profile updates as rapidly as 1 per minute
  • Fully PADS®/JPADS compatible
  • Works in inclement weather conditions troublesome for LIDAR
  • Operates in “clear air” within the convective boundary layer and higher


  • Measurement of real-time wind information to support guided, ballistic and personnel airdrop operations
  • Measurement of wind information for meteorological application in forecast models

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QNA delivers world-class technology and revolutionary products to the defense, security, commercial, utility and transportation markets.

QinetiQ North America (QNA) products include unmanned systems, military protection, power sensors and control systems and transportation safety solutions. QNA is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts and operates as the US arm of QinetiQ Group’s Global Products division.