Ballard Launches Next Generation Fuel Cell System For Drones | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne Unlimited-
Monday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI-
Tuesday

Airborne Unlimited-
Wednesday

AMA Drone Report-
Thursday

Airborne Unlimited-
Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne Unlimited-09-17-18

Airborne Unmanned-09.18.18

Airborne Unlimited-09.12.18

AMA Drone Report-09.13.18

Airborne Unlimited-09.14.18

Airborne-YouTube

Airborne Unlimited-09-17-18

Airborne Unmanned-09.18.18

Airborne Unlimited-09.12.18

AMA Drone Report-09.13.18

Airborne Unlimited-09.14.18

Sat, Dec 30, 2017

Ballard Launches Next Generation Fuel Cell System For Drones

Expands Insitu Flight Testing

Ballard Power Systems has announced the development of a next generation high performance fuel cell propulsion system to power unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones. Ballard has also received a follow-on contract from Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary, for extended durability testing of the next-generation 1.3 kilowatt (kW) fuel cell propulsion system to power test flights of its ScanEagle UAV platform.

Ballard and Insitu have partnered over the past two years to integrate Ballard’s prior generation fuel cell propulsion system – a complete hydrogen power system for small unmanned fixed wing and Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) platforms – into the ScanEagle platform. Successful flight testing was announced in mid-2017.

The next generation fuel cell propulsion system announced today delivers a number of important advances: increased power density, resulting from a new membrane electrode assembly (MEA) design; reduced cost, resulting from a combination of new MEA and one-step fuel cell stack sealing process; and extended lifetime. The increase in rated power, without any appreciable increase in size or weight, is a particularly significant development for UAV applications.

"The Ballard and Insitu teams have collaborated closely over the past several years to integrate our proven fuel cell technology into the industry-leading ScanEagle platform," said Phil Robinson, Vice President of Unmanned Systems at Protonex, a Ballard subsidiary. "This new fuel cell has the potential to deliver a range of benefits compared to the use of an internal combustion engine, or ICE, to power the ScanEagle. These benefits are likely to include an increase in reliability and available electrical power along with a simultaneous reduction in audible noise, thereby enabling lower altitude missions.”

Fuel cell propulsion systems offer a number of advantages over ICE-powered drones (refer to accompanying chart). In addition, fuel cells offer a 3x increase in mission time compared to battery-powered drones.

Andrew Duggan, Vice President and General Manager of Insitu Commercial added, “Insitu is pleased to continue our partnership with Ballard as we add capabilities, further increasing reliability and decreasing operating cost of the ScanEagle platform. We look forward to further performance tests and customer demonstrations in the coming year.”

Insitu’s ScanEagle is a versatile platform with multiple payload capabilities, including high-definition imaging, at a fraction of the cost of larger UAV systems. Insitu’s platforms have logged more than one million flight hours in military and civilian applications, making ScanEagle the most proven UAV in its class. The ScanEagle is operated in conjunction with Insitu’s Mark4 Launcher – a low-maintenance, runway-independent platform – along with its SkyHook recovery system.

ScanEagle is 5.1 feet in length, has a wingspan of 10.2 feet and maximum takeoff weight of 48.5 lbs. The UAV can fly at a maximum speed of 80 knots and reach a ceiling of 19,500 feet.

In addition to military use, the commercial market for drones is expected to growth significantly over the next few years, from 0.25 million working drones in 2017 to more than 2.5 million working drones by 2021. Applications are anticipated in such areas as agriculture, construction, environmental management, urban & rural surveying, mining, emergency response and law enforcement.

(Image provided with Ballard news release)

FMI: www.ballard.com/markets/uav

Advertisement

More News

Aero-TV: The Sling TSi - The Ultimate Affordable Four Seater?

Four-Place Aircraft Powered By Rotax 914 Turbo The Airplane Factory brought its new Sling TSi to AirVenture 2018. The Sling TSi is a four-place turbocharged kit aircraft from the S>[...]

Aero-TV: Light, Adaptable, Innovative - Clarity Aloft Intro’s the Flex!

Clarity Aloft Introduces The TSO Certified Flex Headset The newest addition to the Clarity Aloft headset range is a big departure from previous designs and ushers in a new standard>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 09.18.18: Airware Grounded, AUVSI Urges Congress, LMC And DRL

Also: DroneInsurance.com And AirMap, EagleView And PrecisionHawk, Laser-Carrying Drones, Army Drones Claiming to offer, “... a cloud-based platform to manage, process, view, >[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 09.18.18: Airware Grounded, AUVSI Urges Congress, LMC And DRL

Also: DroneInsurance.com And AirMap, EagleView And PrecisionHawk, Laser-Carrying Drones, Army Drones Claiming to offer, “... a cloud-based platform to manage, process, view, >[...]

Airborne 09.17.18: Round The World Spitfire, Reno MidAir, Loon Program

Also: NATA Leadership, Navy Presents DFC, Wright Brothers Memorial, Orion Parachute Tests We rarely get jealous of our fellow aviators but a recent announcement has definitely insp>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2018 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC