ANN ARBOR — With the delivery of 15 field-ready fuel cells, Ultra Electronics AMI, formerly known as Adaptive Materials Inc., said Wednesday it had completed its $4.2 million multi-year contract with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center to provide fuel cells for unmanned ground vehicles.
AMI manufactured 20 of its 250-watt PowerPod fuel cells for TARDEC. Under the contract specifications, 15 fuel cells were delivered to the client and five underwent extensive testing.
“AMI’s work with its military partners continues to push forward the boundaries of existing technology, including UGVs and unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Aaron Crumm, AMI president. “In testing and demonstrations in real field settings, AMI fuel cells achieved a 12-hour, 40-mile demonstration on the iRobot Packbot. Our fuel cell also powered a 24-hour persistent stare. In fact, our fuel cells have performed so well, we were rated four out of five stars in recent field tests by soldiers.”
AMI’s fuel cell systems will provide power to TARDEC’s QinetiQ Talon and the iRobot Packbot UGVs, enabling up to 10 hours of active mission use or up to 30 hours of persistent stare capabilities. Soldiers use UGVs for disarming improvised explosive devices, surveillance and other capabilities where a robot can be used to keep them out of harm’s way.
As part of AMI and TARDEC’s testing of the fuel cell systems, new endurance records for both the Talon and the iRobot Packbot UGV systems were achieved.
Ultra Electronics AMI is the first company to develop, demonstrate and deliver a portable, affordable, and fuel flexible solid oxide fuel cell system. The company offers 90 and 300-watt fuel cell systems that are powered by globally available and energy dense propane, butane and LPG. Adaptive Materials’ fuel cell system provides portable power to the United States Armed Forces as well as industries including leisure, remote monitoring, and medical devices.
AMI was founded in Ann Arbor and bought by UK-based Ultra Electronics last year.
For more information, visit www.adaptivematerials.com.