By Kalwinder Kaur
Ultra Electronics has supplied 45 of its ROAMIO D245XR fuel cells for deployment in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) by the U.S. military. This delivery contract is worth over $2 M. The ROAMIO D245XR offers extended duration flight of over 8 h in small UAS platforms and has been considered to be the most advanced power technology.
This delivery initiative forms the latest part of an array of small propane-fueled solid oxide fuel cell technology-based multi-unit manufacturing runs. The company progresses with its manufacturing strategy having previously supplied 15 units to the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), 30 units to the Rapid Equipping Force (REF), and 10 units to the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), besides the U.S. Army. Validated AMI fuel cells have been included in all branches of the U.S. military.
According to the company’s President Aaron Crumm, warfighters will show better field performance by incorporating ROAMIO D245XR fuel cells within UAS. ROAMIO D245XR-driven UAS shows better flight capability than larger UAS platforms. Besides its extensive duration, these UAS can lift more sensors and equipment with reduced logistical footprint. The weight of ROAMIO D245XR is lesser than a traditional battery pack or other power source, enabling easy operation by just one or two warfighters.
The ROAMIO D245XR has been engineered and validated for integration within UAS of weight less than 25 lbs, having wingspans of around 12 ft. These UAS uses propane fuel cell system as power source for global use.