The Naval Academy does this about every year with 3 parachutes. ...
Do you have a link to this? I'm not sure what you mean, do they release plans or kits?
I found this inspiring;
But notice how his design is completely flat - so the arched shape of the canopy would come from setting the lines so that it arches, meaning more slack in the fabric of the lower part. I don't think that would help inflation/stability. I think I might do what he did but modify it to be arched. I have some experience making 3D models of parachutes (my first job was making 3D models for this; http://www.parasim.com/
though that was 15 years ago).
if it doesn't go well I'll probably order a chute from Dave Naylor then.
FYI basically what I'm trying to do is make a scale model of this system;
The university's are not making them, they are using my chutes as projects to do what you want to do.
If you look through Atair's website you will find pictures of our chutes. I have made 20+ canopies for them, alot of which they could not show me pictures of due to working with the government. Alot of them were bright orange but then we got into making flat gray ones, better to not ask questions at that point.
What you are attempting to do is very common. The statistics the Navay Achademy sent me they did 100 jumps manually and 100 jumps with electronic control, with electronic control the worst jump they had was 8 feet off the target!!!!