NRL demonstrates fuel cell-powered unmanned aerial system

November 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: Researchers publish perspective on fuel cells

Related Stories

Researchers publish perspective on fuel cells

February 15, 2018

Fuel cells play a major role in creating a clean energy future, with a broad set of applications ranging from powering buildings to electrifying transportation. But, as with all emerging technologies, researchers have faced ...

Micromotors made easy

February 14, 2018

Researchers of the ICN2 Nanobioelectronics and Biosensors Group led by Prof. Arben Merkoçi have devised a simple manufacturing method for versatile graphene oxide-based micromotors. Requiring no special equipment, it can ...

New fuel cell technology runs on solid carbon

January 22, 2018

Advancements in a fuel cell technology powered by solid carbon could make electricity generation from resources such as coal and biomass cleaner and more efficient, according to a new paper published by Idaho National Laboratory ...

Recommended for you

0 comments

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.