UNMANNED Systems Technology magazine, Dossier: BMPower fuel cell system

03.12.2018, 07:04

Ian Bamsey investigates the development of an affordable fuel cell power system that can significantly extend the flight time of an electrically powered UAV

The great challenge with multi-rotor UAVs is range. Conventionally powered by lithium batteries, in professional applications they struggle to achieve more than 30 minutes’ flying time between recharges – even with a payload of a lightweight camera. That has prompted a number of companies to look to alternative means of powering a UAV’s electric rotors.

There is no easy answer to this problem of range extension, but one that promises a major improvement is the use of a hydrogen-powered fuel cell. BMPower is showing that it can offer a practical fuel cell power system (FCPS) at a far more affordable price than the aerospace technology currently under evaluation in the military sphere. Its solution offers a threefold or more improvement in flight duration according to the specific application...

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