Reactant Delivery System for Underwater Vehicles

Period of Performance: 01/23/2013 - 07/21/2014


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator


Advanced underwater vehicles (unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), torpedoes, etc.) are key to achieving long-term objectives for undersea force projection and surveillance. Existing battery-based power systems for these vehicles do not meet mission requirements due to low energy density, prohibitive cost, and/or time-consuming maintenance. Power systems based on liquid fuels and oxidizers (collectively reactants) can provide very high energy density for air-independent power systems. However, managing the liquid reactants presents significant challenges. Simple tanks are inadequate in many cases due to a wide variety of constraints and issues. Creare proposes a reactant delivery system (RDS) that utilizes a novel bladder system that can safely store a range of reactants for extended periods of time. The bladder system has a high fuel volume fraction; is safe, reusable, easy to fill and refill; and has very low residual fuel volume when emptied. Compatibility with a wide range of reactant and power conversion system topologies is also possible. In Phase I, we demonstrated the feasibility and versatility of Creare s RDS for various reactant and power conversion system combinations through design and testing. In Phase II, an RDS prototype will be developed and integrated with a UUV energy subsystem provided by our industrial collaborators.