DCHT & Freewing Exploratory Development Agreement On PEM Fuel Cell Integration

February 14, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

DCH Technology Inc. (DCHT, Valencia, CA) and Freewing Aerial Robotics Corp. (College Station, TX) have agreed to begin an exploratory development program to integrate PEM fuel cells into the Freewing Tilt-Body Unmanned Aeronautical Vehicle (UAV). Freewing's air vehicles have extremely short takeoff and landing capabilities. DCH's modular approach to fuel cell systems is claimed to provide flexibility in handling the various power requirements of the UAVs.The multi-phase project will begin with the replacement of existing lead-acid batteries, leading to the development of larger power systems which are needed to support the operational loads of larger sensor package and progressing to the possible replacement of conventional engines for propulsion. Fuel cell integration is expected to provide the UAV with longer endurance, higher mission flexibility and improved logistics.