Protonex Receives Additional $500,000 to Extend Capabilities of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Propulsion SystemsThursday, June 4, 2009
SOUTHBOROUGH, MA — Protonex Technology Corporation (LSE: AIM: PTX and PTXU), a leading provider of advanced fuel cell power systems for portable, remote and mobile applications, today announced that it has received an additional $500,000 contract award from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for advanced development of high power fuel cell systems for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This award is an extension of an existing contract with the NRL and will focus on incorporating and testing Protonex' advanced fuel cell power system within a tactical UAV.
Development work under this program will concentrate on advancing the technical readiness of the company's UAV fuel cell platform through design improvements and stringent testing. The advanced system will be integrated into a new NRL air vehicle designed specifically for long endurance. The resulting UAV, powered by the Protonex fuel cell system, will be targeted at tactical missions and is expected to provide high efficiency and a very low noise profile.
This program expands upon a series of efforts by Protonex to transition its fuel cell power systems into fieldable UAVs. At present, battery-powered electric UAVs are limited to one to three hours of flight. Protonex power systems, integrated into other small UAVs, have already demonstrated up to four times the flight endurance capability of advanced batteries. With the introduction of cutting-edge fuel cell propulsion systems from Protonex, critical missions such as persistent surveillance, search and rescue, chemical- biological monitoring, and other long-endurance specialty missions can be achieved by smaller, more flexible, and cost-effective UAVs.
"We've had great success in our previous collaborations with the NRL, and the expansion of this UAV program validates those results," stated Dr. Paul Osenar, Chief Technology Officer, Protonex. "Protonex looks forward to transitioning these advanced systems into fielded military products in conjunction with the NRL and other unmanned aircraft system integrators."View all Industry News