Flying farther: Singaporean fuel cell boosts UAV capabilities

Aeropak, the latest in fuel cell power systems, could increase the flight endurance of

small and stealthy electric unmanned aerial systems (UAS) by as much as 300 per cent,

making them more effective in persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance


The new fuel cell system, developed by Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, is also designed for

high-impact and able to operate at up to 22,000 feet (6,500m).

Weighing in at just 4.4 lbs (2kg), it integrates fuel cell technology with new refillable dry-fuel

cartridges, storing 900Wh of usable electrical energy, thus providing up to four times the

endurance capability of advanced lithium batteries currently in use.

Horizon says the miniaturized power system also makes it very easy to use as drop-in

replacement for battery packs currently in service, eliminating costly airframe modifications.

In addition to increasing flight endurance, the new fuel cell system also makes it possible

for small tactical UAS to integrate more power-hungry electronic devices such as

electro-optical sensors, infrared cameras and laser designators.

The new fuel cell systems can also be used to power remote ground systems and recharging

stations, or even serve as an auxiliary electric power supply for larger systems.



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