Protonex unveils UAV, UGV fuel cell

Aug. 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM
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SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- A commercial variant of a U.S. military fuel cell for unmanned aerial and ground vehicles is being made available by Protonex Technology Corp.

The UAV-H500 fuel cell power system uses a high-performance, ultra-light proton exchange membrane fuel cell system that combines and balances power plant components with stack technology. The result is a power density of as much as 1,000 watts per kilogram.

Protonex said the military version of the UAV-H500 was used by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to set a flight endurance record on its small, unmanned aerial vehicle, the Ion Tiger. The aircraft was aloft for more than 26 hours, setting an endurance record for fuel cell powered flight.

"This system brings world leading fuel cell technology to commercial UAV manufactures in an off-the-shelf package," said Protonex Unmanned Systems Program manager George Kiwada.

"Our military customers have consistently been excited by the endurance and low observability of our power systems. Commercially focused UAV integrators can employ these proven systems to lower their operational costs and benefit from long endurance, electric propulsion."

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