A Ballard Power Systems subsidiary has received orders from the U.S. Navy to supply fuel cell propulsion systems to power unmanned aerial vehicle or drone platforms.
Deliveries are scheduled to occur this year.
NRL is exploring UAV power systems in an effort to surpass the 26-hour endurance flight time recorded with the fuel cell-powered Ion Tiger platform in 2009.
The Defense Department uses Protonex-made propulsion systems to help increase the duration and minimize noise of UAVs.
Protonex also offers the FCair suite of power systems that work with commercial platforms built to support agricultural, search-and-rescue, asset inspection and surveillance operations.