A High Efficiency Advanced Lightweight Fuel Cell (HEAL FC) provides a power architecture for a broad range of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms. This modular system can be configured to power High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft as well as much smaller UAVs gathering data within volcanic plumes. When combined with novel hydrogen and oxygen reactant storage systems, the HEAL FC can provide flight times well in excess of the two days the Predator B can fly for NASA's Ikhana program. Much smaller UAVs used for lower altitude data gathering, similar to Aerovironment's Dragon Eye, can benefit from utilizing a HEAL FC for extended mission duration, as well as flight within dense air environments. The Infinity HEAL FC can continue to be utilized within space applications being pursued by NASA, from Space Launch Systems (SLS) to future manned mission programs. Although Infinity's fuel cell has been developed for these space applications to date, the mass and volume of power infrastructure for such missions is always a major concern. The development of a much lighter fuel cell stack would provide a modular power system applicable to a broad array vehicles.
From airborne activities to underwater operations, all commercial entities are eager for longer endurance above or below the water. Many activities within the oil and gas markets, for example, require battery powered autonomous underwater vehicles to re-surface frequently for battery replacement or recharging, resulting in far more costly pipeline inspections. The scientific community's underwater mapping capabilities and cost-effectiveness could also improve dramatically. The upcoming lower altitude package delivery services, such as Amazon, FedEx, and others, also demand longer duration in the air, effectively increasing delivery radius from warehouses and the mobile delivery platforms currently being developed. Commercial space companies, such as SpaceX, Blue Origins, and others could benefit from the mass and volume reduced HEAL FC. From launch vehicles to orbiting platforms, the HEAL FC could form the heart of a power and energy infrastructure capable of scaling to meet the needs of each application.