NRL demonstrates fuel cell-powered unmanned aerial system

Nov 22, 2005

The Naval Research Laboratory, in collaboration with industrial partners, demonstrated an unmanned aerial system (UAS) flight solely powered by fuel cell technology. The flight of the 5.6-pound 'Spider-Lion" lasted 3 hours, 19 minutes and consumed 15-grams of compressed hydrogen gas.

The project is a joint venture between NRL's Chemistry and Tactical Electronic Warfare Divisions and Protonex Technology Corporation. The flight was conducted with L-3 - BAI Aerosystems at their Ragged Island facility on Maryland's Eastern Shore under weather conditions of 65 degrees F, moderate winds, and light rain at takeoff.

The 100-watt fuel cell system was designed and constructed at NRL largely using commercially available hardware and a fuel cell stack and components developed by Protonex. The "Spider-Lion" UAS was developed by NRL as a high-impact research platform for testing fuel cell technology. Research and development continues aimed at developing a fuel cell system capable of powering small military platforms currently in the field or in advanced development stages requiring extended operation that is not achievable using current battery technology.

Source: Naval Research Laboratory

Explore further: Video gives astronaut's-eye view inside NASA's Orion spacecraft

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A green data center with an autonomous power supply

Nov 28, 2014

A new data center in the United States is generating electricity for its servers entirely from renewable sources, converting biogas from a sewage treatment plant into electricity and water. Siemens implemented ...

Protons fuel graphene prospects

Nov 26, 2014

Graphene, impermeable to all gases and liquids, can easily allow protons to pass through it, University of Manchester researchers have found.

Easy measurement of the effect of fine dust

Dec 08, 2014

Fine dusts from industry, traffic, and households are omnipresent. Still, they are difficult to capture by reliable medical measurements. KIT researchers have now developed an exposure system, by means of ...

Recommended for you

When a bright light fades

8 minutes ago

Astronomer Charles Telesco is primarily interested in the creation of planets and stars. So, when the University of Florida's giant telescope was pointed at a star undergoing a magnificent and explosive death, ...

Four Galileo satellites at ESA test centre

42 minutes ago

ESA engineers unwrapped a welcome Christmas present: the latest Galileo satellite. The navigation satellite will undergo a full checkout in Europe's largest satellite test facility to prove its readiness ...

Image: Horsehead nebula viewed in infrared

48 minutes ago

Sometimes a horse of a different color hardly seems to be a horse at all, as, for example, in this newly released image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The famous Horsehead nebula makes a ghostly appearance ...

The Milky Way's new neighbour

54 minutes ago

The Milky Way, the galaxy we live in, is part of a cluster of more than 50 galaxies that make up the 'Local Group', a collection that includes the famous Andromeda galaxy and many other far smaller objects. ...

Image: Hubble sweeps a messy star factory

1 hour ago

This sprinkle of cosmic glitter is a blue compact dwarf galaxy known as Markarian 209. Galaxies of this type are blue-hued, compact in size, gas-rich, and low in heavy elements. They are often used by astronomers ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.