A United Technologies Corp.‘s business unit will push forward the design and development of an energy system for the Office of Naval Research‘s Long Endurance Undersea Vehicle Propulsion program.
As part of the program’s next phases, UTC Aerospace Systems will create an energy system for an unmanned undersea vehicle using proton exchange membrane fuel cells to replace current battery systems, UTC said Wednesday.
The technology is expected to deliver more operational capabilities for future UUV missions.
During a recent test, the energy system generated 42 kWh of power over 30 hours of operations using a fuel cell power plant and an integrated cryogenic reactant system.
“The fuel cell hardware design selected for the LEUVP program is identical to that being used for our qualified Fuel Cell Power Module on the Spanish Navy’s S-80 submarine,” said G. Allen Flynt, general manager for space systems at UTC Aerospace Systems.
“With this heritage we feel that we are well-placed with our partners to deliver a proven option to ONR and the U.S. Navy on this program.”
The design and development work will be performed by UTC’s ISR and space systems team.