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Protonex Receives Contract To Extend UAV Propulsion Systems

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by Staff Writers
Southborough MA (SPX) Apr 30, 2008
Protonex Technology has announced that it has received a $1.62 million contract with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for advanced development of high power fuel cell systems for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This program expands upon Protonex' portfolio of UAV power system initiatives.

Protonex' work to date has proven the capabilities of the technology and the team has consistently achieved milestones for performance in this area," said Warren Schultz, Associate Superintendent, Chemistry Division, Naval Research Laboratory. "We have a real need for advanced power solutions to enable longer flight times and fuel cells show great potential to outperform batteries and other traditional power sources to meet this objective."

Development work under the program will focus on increasing power output of the company's Pulse UAV fuel cell platform and improving overall efficiency of the system. The advanced system will be integrated into a small NRL plane designed specifically for extended flight testing. The resulting hydrogen fuel cell system will be compatible with a variety of fuels, offer a very low noise profile and deliver up to four times the endurance of today's advanced batteries.

"We have had outstanding success in our previous collaborations with the NRL, and this new program to extend our work with UAVs validates those efforts. The team is excited to have this opportunity to continue to optimize the technology for long duration flights," commented Dr. Paul Osenar, Chief Technology Officer, Protonex.

"In addition to the rapidly growing segment of electric UAVs designed for military and commercial missions, the power system developed under this program will address a wide variety of high power applications and will complement Protonex' other fuel cell products. We expect to leverage the outcome of this program to help us gain greater access to both our military and commercial target markets."

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Baltimore MD (SPX) Apr 29, 2008
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