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Long Endurance Fuel Cell System for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch:
Air Force
Award ID:
78947
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
F061-180-2666
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
AEROVIRONMENT, INC.
181 W. Huntington Drive, Suite 202 Monrovia, CA 91016
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Long Endurance Fuel Cell System for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8650-07-C-2724
Award Amount: $749,989.00
 

Abstract:

The warfighter requires long flight duration, hand-launched, small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Batteries are expensive and provide limited flight duration. A viable alternative to batteries, that could provide higher gravimetric and volumetric energy density, and lower life cycle cost, are hybrid battery/fuel cell systems with hydrogen stored as chemical hydride, which, when reacted with water, generates the required fuel as-needed. AeroVironment's (AV's) Phase I effort determined it would be feasible to develop an integrated fuel cell/battery hybrid energy storage system for the AV-designed and manufactured PUMA UAV, The 9-ft wingspan PUMA has a flight duration of three hours on rechargeable batteries, but will be able to fly for 6-8 hours with the fuel cell-based energy storage system. In phase I we worked with several fuel cell system developers and conducted a bench top demonstration of an integrated fuel cell/battery hybrid system using a Protonex fuel cell and hydrogen storage system. In Phase II, we will optimize and build a fuel cell-based energy storage system and conduct several tests to demonstrate achievable flight duration. We will also perform feasibility studies for adding advanced solar cells on the PUMA wings and integrating a similar energy storage system into the Raven UAV.

Principal Investigator:

Omourtag Velev
Principal Fuel Cell Engin
6263579983
velev@avinc.com

Business Contact:

Jerry Cleveland
Director, Contracts & Leg
6263579983
cleveland@avinc.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

AEROVIRONMENT, INC.
181 W. Huntington Drive, Suite 202 Monrovia, CA 91016

EIN/Tax ID: 952705790
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No