Paris Air Show

Horizon fuel cell for UASs packs plenty of power and endurance

 - June 16, 2009, 6:43 AM

Singapore’s Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies (Stand B75) is officially unveiling its new Aeropak fuel cell system here this week. It is designed to increase the flight endurance of small and stealthy electric unmanned aerial systems (UAS) by as much as 300 percent, the new product will bring an immediate performance improvement over today’s best battery systems, according to Horizon.

The new equipment is meant for high impact and is capable of operating at altitudes as high as 22,000 feet. It integrates Horizon’s fuel cell technology with new refillable dry-fuel cartridges. Storing up to 900 Wh of usable electrical energy and weighing just 4.4 pounds, the Aeropak provides up to four times the endurance capability of advanced lithium batteries. The miniaturized power system makes for an easy drop-in replacement for battery packs now in service, an attribute meant to eliminate costly airframe modifications.

Along with increasing flight time, the new fuel cell system also enables small tactical UASs to integrate more power-hungry electronic devices such as electro-optical sensors, infrared cameras and laser designators. The Aeropak can also power remote ground systems and recharging stations, or even serve as an auxiliary electrical power supply for larger systems.