Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fuel Cell Powered Unmanned Aerial System Achieves Flight Endurance Milestone

Date:
August 7, 2009
Source:
Naval Research Laboratory
Summary:
Researchers have completed a successful flight test of the fuel cell powered XFC (eXperimental Fuel Cell) unmanned aerial system. During the June 2 flight test, the XFC UAS was airborne for more than six hours.

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has completed a successful flight test of the fuel cell powered XFC (eXperimental Fuel Cell) unmanned aerial system (UAS). During the June 2 flight test, the XFC UAS was airborne for more than six hours.
Credit: Image courtesy of Naval Research Laboratory

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has completed a successful flight test of the fuel cell powered XFC (eXperimental Fuel Cell) unmanned aerial system (UAS). During the June 2 flight test, the XFC UAS was airborne for more than six hours. NRL's Chemistry and Tactical Electronic Warfare Divisions are developing the XFC UAS as an expendable, long endurance platform for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).

Compared to internal combustion powered vehicles, battery powered UAS are inherently stealthy in that they are relatively free of noise and thermal signature, and are easy to start, operate and maintain. However, they have poor payload capacity and endurance. The electrically powered UAS could have more tactical utility and be a platform for ISR if endurance could be increased.

NRL and its fuel cell development and manufacturing partner, Protonex Technology Corporation (Southborough, MA) have addressed these issues by developing a hydrogen fuel cell power plant system that greatly extends endurance and permits increased payload capacity. The technology has been successfully integrated into the XFC UAS, a folding wing, expendable UAS that has a small footprint with a standard lightweight rail launcher.

The non-hybridized power plant supports this fully autonomous aircraft and an EO/IR payload for a flight endurance that enables relatively low cost, low altitude, ISR missions of up to seven-plus hours in its current configuration. In its final form, the XFC will be capable of self-launching from a folded configuration with loiter speed of 30 knots and a dash speed of 52 knots.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Naval Research Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Naval Research Laboratory. "Fuel Cell Powered Unmanned Aerial System Achieves Flight Endurance Milestone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806141720.htm>.
Naval Research Laboratory. (2009, August 7). Fuel Cell Powered Unmanned Aerial System Achieves Flight Endurance Milestone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806141720.htm
Naval Research Laboratory. "Fuel Cell Powered Unmanned Aerial System Achieves Flight Endurance Milestone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806141720.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins