The U.S. Navy is looking for fuel cell propulsion systems to power unmanned aerial vehicles. Protonex, a subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems, recently received an order from the Navy for 13 fuel cell systems. The fuel cell is a variant of a 600-watt proton exchange membrane system that the company previously provided to the Navy for its hybrid Tiger UAV, a platform created for stealthy, long-endurance operations.

The Hybrid Tiger UAV was designed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to explore new power system technologies for UAV propulsion. High efficiency fuel cells from Protonex, in combination with other technologies, are expected to enable greater endurance than the 26 hours demonstrated by Ion Tiger in 2009. Through this program, Protonex is providing a key technology to advance the Navy’s unmanned system performance goals.

According to Protonex, fuel cell UAV propulsion systems are used by the U.S. Department of Defense to enhance flight duration and range, while minimizing audible noise. The rugged and reliable systems are designed to operate in all types of environments and at high altitudes, enabling deployments in exacting missions worldwide. The trademarked Protonex FCair line of commercial UAV power systems builds on this defense heritage for applications in such areas as agriculture, asset inspection, surveillance, and search & rescue.

Beitrag im Original auf http://uasmagazine.com/articles/1867/navy-to-outfit-drones-with-fuel-cell-systems, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von The UAS Magazine automatisch importiert, Original in englischer Sprache. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung von UAV DACH e.V. wieder.