A World Breakthrough in UAV Propulsion


Energy Density of up to 0.65-0.8Wh per gram.  Very Exciting!

Excerpt from Manufacturer's Website

AEROPAK is an ultra-light power supply enabled by fuel cells, designed to increase flight endurance for small electric Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). It uses an on-demand hydrogen supply system from a chemical stored in a swappable cartridge.

The special characteristics of AEROPAK-1 allows to reduce weight progressively over the course of a flight, by purging spent fuel during flight. This means the average energy density of the system can increase up to 675Wh/kg for a 2 kg system, weighing 1kg after consuming all of its fuel.


Excerpt from Isreal's Homeland Securty Home

A cooperation between Israel and Singapore has resulted in a breakthrough in powering unmanned air systems. “This will change the world of UAVs and opens many new paths for using them in many applications” an Israeli source said.

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  • @Dave: The lightest 200watt fuelcell is just 580 grams now :)


  • Ravi - This is true.  Considering that 99% of the hobby market use lipos, when Li-ion offer twice the energy density... it seems that $ per Watt wins every time.

    Dave - Check out FlyH2 to get an idea of the type of airframe this sort of thing is for.

    John - That's a great resource.

  • Other blog posts and links about battery technologies and applications can be found on THIS page.

  • the systems is very innovative but is for meant for longer endurances. also it has to compete with lipo batteries which are getting cheaper year by year.

  • Like anything, if the price is not mentioned with a "please contact us", it's more expensive than most can afford.
  • LanMark/Alex - The Stalker XE uses a propane fuel cell, so it is a little bit different. Propone (C H3 8) is a 3 carbon alkane, and doesn't have the same potential in terms of energy density (carrying the carbon is not ideal).  But Lockheed Martin's approach does perhaps make recharging much easier.

    Mr Lefebvre - Yeah, looking at the chart above, anything less than 4 hours and the advantages are minimal. But above that level of endurance it is quite a difference story.  As far as what this would be used for, I think it fits into the cost envelope for commercial UAS applications in GIS, Aerial based bushfire early warning systems, or perhaps to provide an aerial platform for GWS tracking and early detection (which would be a better approach that simply following the script of a 70s movie - which is mostly what our WA premier is proposing to do now). As far as I am aware Dirk is already in the process of working with CASA to get his wings to fly BVLOS, so I don't think that we will be waiting too long for things to progress in the land down under (but, perhaps I am over optimistic).

    mP1 - As I mentioned in my previous post, I am not sure whether the Aeropak uses a rechargeable or single use cartridge.  This video shows what appears to be a rechargeable pressure vessel, while this video shows something altogether different. Commercial bulk hydrogen is generally produced by the steam reforming of natural gas, as electrolysis is still pretty slow, expensive and inefficient.

    Gary - Yeah, other elements like nickel have proven to be effective, but nothing yet (to my knowledge) that is properly efficient and doesn't degrade.  Agreed, it is a bit out of the reach of the hobbyist (although, I reckon Simon might be prepared to argue with you on that).

  • I thought perhaps they might sell something that used electrolysis to get raw hydrogen or something. Then again they dont list prices and are kind of low on detail and appear to want to talk to you for further info.

  • Very often these cells use butane or propane as the hydrogen source and they are recharged by simply installjng additional fuel cartridge in battery.

    The expensive part, I think is the platinum catalyzer.

    Hydrogen fuel cells have been in use for over 30 years now and nobody has succeeded in making a cheap one yet (except for charging cell phones) and it is very low power.

    The expensive part should last through very many recharges.

    But their current (and likely projected future) cost is way too high for hobby industry and their use is going to be for Non-LOS commercial use only (very small numbers).

  • Are these rechargable or must you buy new carts each time ?

    With prices like that they can only be targetting military customers.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tqwqnj-oGyo

    i want one!

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