We call the group of fabric panels that form the upper surface close to the nose the Powerband. It has different shapes on our different parachutes but it serves the same purpose. It looks amazing!
And apart from looking amazing, it also serves a technical (some might even say, more important) purpose. Creating 3D shapes from 2D surfaces is not as simple as it seems. The more complex the shape, the more panels you need. So when increasing the accuracy and the complexity of our canopy shapes we needed more panels to create volume.
On the more elliptical canopies like Leia and Petra, it also prevents the nose from stretching too much. ZP fabric is quite stretchy in every direction, but especially on the bias (45° of the fibers).
The Powerband gives us more flexibility to place the panels in the right orientation and limit stretch. The result is simply more robust canopies that turn just by thinking about it.