The project "Improving efficiency and operational range in low-power unmanned vehicles through the use of hybrid fuel-cell power systems (IUFCV)" is a R&D project cofunded by the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, which aims to demonstrate and evaluate the technical feasibility of hybrid power systems, based on batteries and fuel cells, in existing unmanned vehicles.
The proposed hybrid power systems are designed and developed according to the specifications of three existing unmanned platforms, one autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), also called unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), and two unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). These power systems will be integrated and evaluated in real operating conditions.
Criteria for success:
- Specific energy of the fuel cell hybrid power systems > 180 Wh/kg (without O2 storage in the AUV)
- Endurance of the fuel cell UGVs (in runtime-nominal usage) > 7 hours
- Endurance of the fuel cell UUV > 10 hours
- Recharging time < 5 minm (for hydrogen compressed gas)
- Availability of the power system > 95%
- Achievement of end user requirements
- Application of existing RCS related to the safe use of hydrogen and fuel cells
Consortium / Partners and role
National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA), Energy Area
Development of hybrid power systems, using COTS components and prototypes. Integration in an UGV. Evaluation of unmanned vehicles.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Data61, Robotics and Autonomous Systems
Development of two autonomous vehicles (an AUV and an UGV) based on existing platforms. Integration of hybrid power systems. Evaluation of unmanned vehicles power systems. Evaluation of unmanned vehicles.
University of Seville, System Engineering and Automation Department
Development of advanced control algorithms and their implementation to optimize the operation of the hybrid power systems in robotic platforms.
"Improving efficiency and operational range in low-power unmanned vehicles through the use of hybrid fuel-cell power systems (IUFCV)" Project web
Project's information on Researchgate