Compact Lightweight Smart Battery Charger

Period of Performance: 01/07/2003 - 07/06/2003

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NVE Corp. (formerly Nonvolatile Electron
11409 Valley View Rd.
Eden Prairie, MN 55441
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The Objective Force soldier is going to depend heavily on electronic systems, such as the Medium Weight Thermal Weapon Sight and the Land Warrior System, that require rechargeable batteries to supply the necessary power. To support the soldier's charging needs, a lightweight, compact, versatile charger is needed. The current Army charger is large and heavy, weighing 11 pounds at a volume of 973 cubic inches. This charger can only charge 2 identical batteries at a time, and it requires different adapters for each type of battery that is to be charged. The tremendous chasm between this charger's capability and the needs of the Objective Force soldier provides the opportunity for the development of a compact and versatile charger. The proposed development program will result in an SMBus compliant smart charger that will weigh less than 1.5 pounds in a volume of less than 50 cubic inches, will operate from either a 24 VDC source or a 100-250 VAC source, will function from -30 to 55 degrees Celsius, will be modular and scalable up to charging 10 batteries at once, will provide a battery status monitor, and will be able to charge a Land Warrior lithium-ion battery in under 3 hours. The smart charger provides a lighweight, versatile, quick charging capability that is suitable for both military and commercial applications. Both the Medium Weight Thermal Weapon Sight and the Land Warrior System will benefit from the charger's capabilities. In the commercial markets, the smart charger could find application with portable computers (laptops) and battery operated tools.