May 09, 2011      

ADA Technologies Inc. received a $750,000 contract from the U.S. Air Force for research on a nanomaterial-enabled power system for use in small to micro unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Specifically, the Littleton, Colo.-based company will create a high-performance, easy-to-manufacture lithium-ion battery that meets the power generation and storage requirements of military UAS. The Phase II research will be performed in collaboration with SouthWest NanoTechnologies, a lithium-ion battery manufacturer in Norman, Okla.

Military UAS have the potential for use in a variety of indoor and outdoor missions, but they must be highly mobile and portable, with good endurance. Current state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries are not capable of providing sufficient energy while remaining within the military’s size constraints. As a result, advancements in lithium-ion battery energy and power density are required to enable UAS to execute their intended missions.

During Phase I research, ADA made progress in the development of advanced nanocomposite electrodes for lithium-ion batteries that possess greater energy and power density, cycle life, and safety as compared with current state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries.

ADA’s Phase II research will focus on establishing electrode synthesis protocols and relevant-scale electrode processes. This program will culminate in the design, production, and demonstration of a full-scale prototype lithium-ion battery for integration into a military UAS.