DENVER /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- ADA Technologies Inc. (ADA) received a $100,000 contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop an advanced lithium-polymer (LiPo) battery for use in miniaturized hybrid power systems for micro air vehicles (MAVs).
Rapid advances in micro/nano technologies for MAV components, including actuators, flight control systems, sensors, and onboard data processors, are enabling a new breed of extremely small and lightweight MAVs. The tiny MAVs, some as small as insects, are in high demand due to their numerous military, commercial, and scientific applications. Progress, however, has been hampered by the lack of a robust onboard power system.
ADA's new hybrid-power device is based on using nanostructured electrodes and environmentally friendly electrolytes to develop an advanced LiPo battery capable of operating in both high-power and high-energy modes, eliminating the need for two separate devices.
According to Wen Lu, PhD, ADA project manager, "Current hybrid power systems rely on pairing a fuel cell or high-energy lithium-ion battery with a high-power device, such as an ultracapacitor. Because two separate devices are needed to provide power, this type of system is impractical for use on MAVs, where space and weight restrictions are critical." The lightest-weight LiPo batteries currently available don't provide sufficient energy and power densities and impose a variety of operational limitations unacceptable for MAV power systems.
"ADA's new technology will allow for substantially greater range, endurance, and maneuverability for this highly volume- and mass-constrained class of vehicles," said Doug Campbell, R&D program manager. "Specific attributes include increased power and energy densities, longer lifecycle and storage life, increased safety, and reduced weight."
ADA Technologies Inc. is a research, development, and commercialization company that specializes in creating and converting innovative technologies to commercial successes. The firm is headquartered in Littleton, CO, with offices on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie and the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, Blacksburg, VA. ADA has received more than 130 research grants, totaling more than $40 million. ADA has received numerous honors, including the 2006 Tibbetts Award, 2006, 2007 & 2008 Colorado Technology Fast 50, 2006 & 2007 Best Companies to Work For in Colorado, and Colorado's Top Technology Company 2005. For more information, please call 303-792-5615.