New Thermal Battery Electrochemistry
Thermal batteries power a vast array of tactical and strategic defense systems. Future performance requirements are demanding higher power levels over longer operating times for: (1) multi-functional seeker and sensor packages, (2) active data links supporting net-centric operation and (3) increased maneuvering capability. Meeting this challenge requires thermal batteries capable of delivering a significant increase in specific energy over that available with state-of-the-art LiSi/CoS2 technology. Under this proposed effort, the best higher-energy anode and cathode materials, currently under development via complimentary SBIR efforts, will be selected and evaluated, first in single cells, and later in fully-functional demonstrator batteries discharged under both static and dynamic conditions. Selected batteries will also be subjected to NAVSEA S9310 safety tests to validate the likelihood of future compliance. Anode and cathode fabrication methods and acceptance specifications will be developed to ensure the proper post-activation deformation characteristics needed to achieve desired electrical performance. The near term goal is to demonstrate a 20+% increase in specific energy (at the battery level) over LiSi/CoS2 technology (enabled by a new cathode material). The longer-range goal is to demonstrate a 50+% increase in specific energy over LiSi/CoS2 via an entirely new anode / cathode couple.
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