IAI and Cella Energy to Develop Fuel Cell Power System for BirdEye Mini UAV

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Cella Energy were awarded industrial research and development funding by Space Florida, the State of Florida's aerospace and spaceport development authority, and MATIMOP, Israel's Industrial Center for Research and Development.

The grant was approved under the Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Program for a collaborative project in the field of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The proposed collaborative project between IAI and Cella has been selected because of the near-term potential for commercialization and economic benefit for both Florida and Israel.

IAI, a global leader in the development and production of UAS and Cella Energy, an advanced materials company revolutionizing hydrogen energy alternatives, will develop and evaluate a fuel cell power system for IAI's BirdEye Mini UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), based on Cella's proprietary solid hydrogen fuel system. The potential benefit of the project is to double or even triple the UAV flight duration at the same battery weight, solving one of the biggest limitations of battery operated UAVs. The project is about to be launched, subjected to export regulations and collaboration agreement.

Cella's proprietary hydrogen technology provides a low-weight, high-performance alternative to lithium-polymer batteries, the power source typically used in small UAVs. Cella has developed a plastic-like hydrogen storage material that can be pressed and shaped into any form. When heated above 100°C, hydrogen is released within minutes. Each gram of Cella material safely stores approximately one liter of hydrogen gas.

"Combining IAI's legacy of excellence in aerospace manufacturing with Cella's technological expertise in hydrogen storage could result in a UAV of unmatched performance," said Stephen Bennington, Managing Director of Cella Energy. "We will be looking to expand our U.S. capabilities at the Kennedy Space Center to deliver this program."

"We are looking forward to exploring the capabilities of Cella's technology," said Ofer Haruvi, Vice President of R&D and CTO at IAI's Military Aircraft Group. "As part of IAI's approach of continuous innovation, we will study the potential benefits of hydrogen energy to further strengthen our offerings to customers."

Israel Aerospace Industries
IAI Ltd. is Israel's largest aerospace and defense company and a globally recognized technology and innovation leader, specializing in developing and manufacturing advanced, state-of-the-art systems for air, space, sea, land, cyber and homeland security. Since 1953, the company has provided advanced technology solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide including: satellites, missiles, weapon systems and munitions, unmanned and robotic systems, radars, C4ISR and more.  IAI also designs and manufactures business jets and aero-structures, performs overhaul and maintenance on commercial aircraft and converts passenger aircraft to refueling and cargo configurations.

Cella Energy
Cella Energy is an advanced materials company pioneering safe, high-performance, low-cost hydrogen energy. Its headquarters are located at the Rutherford Appleton Lab complex in the U.K., and its U.S. operations are based at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The company's proprietary solid hydrogen technology has applications in numerous sectors including automotive, aerospace and portable power applications. The power systems that Cella develops using its material have performance, safety and cost advantages over lithium-polymer batteries, as well as compressed and other forms of solid hydrogen.

Source: http://cellaenergy.com/

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