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Wirth Research developing long-endurance hydrogen-powered terrain mapping drones

UK-based Wirth Research has been contracted to develop and deliver a unique and bespoke prototype fleet of hydrogen fuel cell powered advanced terrain mapping drones for DERYL Research K.K.—a subsidiary of DERYL Group K.K., based in Japan.

The all-new Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) will be capable of deploying a sophisticated terrain-mapping suite of sensors and on-board data processing capabilities on long-endurance flights over large areas of terrain. To allow the highest possible endurance, and allow the UAS to have zero in-flight emissions, the drone will be powered by an advanced hybrid power system, featuring a hydrogen fuel cell as its primary energy source.

We have developed and validated some unique aerodynamic technology and flown some amazing UAS systems already. We look forward to the challenge of delivering this fleet in a few months, and to embarking on the next project in this fascinating field.

—Wirth Research founder and CEO, Nick Wirth

The project builds on Wirth Research’s growing UAS knowledge base, with the additional challenge of integrating a hybrid hydrogen fuel cell power system and payload into a unique UAS.

The prototype fleet is scheduled for delivery in 2017.

Comments

HarveyD

Another use for compact FCs with improved power/weight ratio. Longer self-control flights are possible and would be ideal for various merchandise home delivery including meals, mail etc. ?

Improved, lower cost FCs will be used in FCEVs by 2020.

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