A green drone bump to ya...
Story Number: NNS091013-19Release Date: 10/13/2009 4:34:00 PM
By Donna McKinney, Naval Research Laboratory Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL's) Ion Tiger, a hydrogen-powered fuel cell unmanned air vehicle (UAV), flew 23 hours and 17 minutes, setting an unofficial flight endurance record for a fuel-cell powered flight during a test Oct. 9-10 at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
The Ion Tiger fuel cell system development team is led by NRL and includes Protonex Technology Corporation, the University of Hawaii, and HyperComp Engineering. The program is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
"The long endurance flight was made possible by the team's research on high power, efficient fuel cell systems, lightweight hydrogen-gas storage tanks, improved thermal management, and the effective integration of these systems," said NRL researcher Karen Swider-Lyons.
The electric fuel cell propulsion system on board the Ion Tiger has the low noise and signature of a battery-powered UAV, while taking advantage of hydrogen, a high-energy fuel. Fuel cells create an electrical current when they convert hydrogen and oxygen into water, with only water and heat as byproducts. The 550-watt (0.75 horsepower) fuel cell on board the Ion Tiger has about four times the efficiency of a comparable internal combustion engine and the system provides seven times the energy in the equivalent weight of batteries. The Ion Tiger weighs approximately 37 pounds and carries a four to five pound payload.
Small UAVs are growing in importance for naval missions, as they provide capabilities ranging from surveillance collection to communication links. Electric UAVs have the additional feature of being nearly undetectable from the ground. Due to the high energy in the fuel cell system on board the Ion Tiger, it is now possible to do long endurance missions with an electric UAV, thus allowing a larger cruise range and reducing the number of daily launches and landings. This provides more capability while saving time and effort for the crew.
In 2005, NRL backed initial research in fuel cell technologies for UAVs.
Fuel cell technology is being developed to impact the operational spectrum of technologies including ground, air and undersea vehicles and man-portable power for Marine expeditionary missions.
"The Ion Tiger successfully demonstrates ONR's vision to show how efficient, clean technology can be used to improve the warfighter's capabilities," said ONR Program Manager Michele Anderson.
48 hours of continuous flight.
Because spying on right wing extremists from nine to five just isn’t an option.
Nice, catching up to the technology used on the Space Shuttle (and Apollo before that).
It’s the Ion the Tiger, it’s the thrill of the flight, standing up to the challenge of our rivals......
“Spying: it’s not only good for the government, it’s good for the environment, too.”
The author must not really know how to get pure hydrogen...much less liquify it.
A power plant that burns hydrocarbons perhaps? I double the plant is hooked up to a solar array (Where's the energy come to build those cells eh? Another story, with similar basis - hydrocarbons! That’s where.), or wind farm (More hydrocarbons!), a hydro-electric plant (The only one so far that generated more energy than the hydrocarbon used in it's creation or destruction.), or maybe a nuclear plant (The jury’s still out on if nuclear plants generate their base hydrocarbon load for construction and destruction yet.).
Anyway, it's BS! There is NO WAY that a pure hydrogen process is more efficient than an ideal system: It takes MORE energy to split water than the available energy recovered for work!
Pesky thing is electrolysis and entropy...
Used one of your links to go over to Endgadget, and the site locked up my browser. I had to force my browser closed, and then I couldn’t restart my browser, because it went back to the same site. Took my about ten minutes to fix it, and I couldn’t reboot because I was downloading a big file.
Just wanted to mention it so others might avoid that particular web page.
There isn’t any additional information over there that I noticed before the freeze.
BTW: I use Firefox...