RIPPED UAV - Renewable Integrated Propulsion Power Electric Delivery for UAV's

Period of Performance: 08/26/2013 - 05/26/2014

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

UltraCell LLC
399 Lindbergh Avenue
Livermore, CA 94551
Principal Investigator

Abstract

ABSTRACT: We propose a fuel cell / battery hybrid powered UAV, designed from the get go with electric power propulsion and controls. A unique fuel cell composed of a high temperature PEM with a JP8 reformer will provide cruise power and trickle charging to the batteries. Batteries will provide surge power to arrive on station in 2-3 minutes after initiation. The fuel cell will startup during the flight and take over power supply. The fuel cell will supply trickle power to the battery so that dash capability is retained. BENEFIT: Since this UAV will be fueled by JP8, logistics concerns will be alleviated and rapid refueling will be possible. An additional benefit is that as the aircraft consumes fuel, its gross weight will reduce thereby further increasing range. The RIPPED UAV will eventually find a foothold in the industrial surveillance market as well as in law enforcement and border protection. Compared to traditional battery powered UAV, RIPPED will have ~4X the mission duration. Ultimately, the hybrid power module could be adapted for other markets and applications such as APU in the industrial and leisure markets.