Drop pods are small, one-person atmospheric re-entry vehicles used for planetary invasions from orbiting spacecraft.
Drop pods are designed to protect soldiers equipped with power armor during atmospheric insertion. The inner pod is equipped with foam padding, shock absorbers, and inertial compensators to protect the trooper from the G-forces of launch, and the outer shell is covered with ablative shielding to protect the trooper from the heat generated by a high-speed descent through a planetary atmosphere.
Although the exact design details vary, drop pods are generally deployed in the following way: The pod is initially fired from an electromagnetic launcher in a starship. As the drop pod falls into the atmosphere, the outer shell of the pod breaks open and splits into multiple fragments to confuse enemy targeting systems. The inner pod then fires retro rockets to slow its decent before breaking away as well, leaving only the trooper in their shock frame. The frame deploys a series of parachutes, one after the other, to slow the trooper's descent before the frame breaks off as well and falls away. By this time, the power armored trooper should be close enough to the ground to manage a (hard) landing using their suit's jump jets.