Ultralife Forms Partnership With Mississippi State University To Develop Fuel Cell-Battery Portable Power Systems

January 09, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Ultralife has entered into a technology partnership with Mississippi State University (MSU) to develop fuel cell-battery portable power systems enabling lightweight, long endurance military missions. The development of this power system is to be performed under a $1.6 million program that was awarded by a U.S. Defense Department agency to MSU as the prime contractor.

MSU has awarded Ultralife a $475,000 contract to participate in this program as a subcontractor. Under the contract, Ultralife will oversee the development, testing, approval and manufacturing of prototypes of a new compact military battery to be used with handheld tactical radios, building on its ongoing development work under the Land Warrior System Stryker Interoperable Program. In addition, Ultralife will provide engineering support, encompassing defining system requirements and performing design integration and testing tasks, to ensure successful demonstration of the system.

Finally, under the technology partnership with MSU, Ultralife is establishing a development and assembly operation in a 14,000 square-foot facility located in West Point, Mississippi. The city of West Point will be responsible for preparing the facility for occupancy, while Ultralife will enter into a three-year lease agreement with the city and will receive job training subsidies. The development and assembly facility is expected to create at least 30 jobs to manufacture products coming out of the technology partnership and other Ultralife products. The company plans to commence operations in the first half of 2008.

"Portable fuel cells offer the promise to power battery chargers for soldiers that can effectively extend mission times and reduce a soldier’s carrying weight by allowing use of smaller batteries that are both lighter and last longer," said John D. Kavazanjian, Ultralife’s President and Chief Executive Officer. "This program demonstrates our commitment to explore new technologies that can broaden our addressable market without straining our already growing workforce in Newark. We look forward to pursuing additional research opportunities with MSU and to benefiting from future initiatives by the State of Mississippi to support research and development activities."