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Thu, Feb 25, 2021

Hydrogen Powered UAV Propulsion System Begins Testing

Northwest UAV And The Naval Research Laboratory Are Working Towards A Test Flight

Through a cooperative agreement, NWUAV and NRL have successfully completed a hydrogen fuel cell prototype designed specifically for the high power-to-weight ratio and harsh operational requirements of unmanned systems. After a successful first operational test, NWUAV and NRL plan further developments to their hydrogen fuel cell prototype, with a test flight slated for later this year.

“It is very gratifying to turn research sustained by the Office of Naval Research into a commercial product,” said Dr. Karen Swider-Lyons, Director of the Laboratory of Autonomous Systems Research at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. “With new manufacturing support from the Department of Defense Manufacturing Technology Program and a cooperative agreement we are creating a new generation of aerial propulsion technology that will greatly advance the capabilities of our warfighters.” 

The Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell is compact, reliable, and lightweight. The PEM Fuel Cell creates electricity through the direct electrochemical process of turning hydrogen into water. This design allows for modularity and scalability to meet different power requirements of a broad range of unmanned systems. The PEM system pictured contains 48 cells and is rated for 1400 watts of continuous power. The high efficiency of fuel cells combined with the high energy of hydrogen creates systems for long-endurance electric propulsion

FMI: www.NWUAV.com

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