Via a reader. The Reg sums it up:
You’d think that with global terrorist threats and fighting two wars, the US Defense Department would have little time on its hands to start a circus troupe.
However, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has filed a patent application for a contraption designed to hurl SWAT teams and other emergency workers onto the roofs of inaccessible tall buildings human cannonball style
New Scientist, the source for this DARPA weirdness, writes in Human cannonballs :
A ramp with side rails would be placed on the ground near the target building at an angle of about 80