labels: Aerospace, News reports
Korean engineers launch fuel cell-powered, long range UAV news
11 October 2007
An engineering team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) unveiled a fuel cell-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) this week with a far longer endurance than existing machines.

According to the team leader, aerospace engineering professor Kwon Se-jin, the 2.5 kilogram unit stayed airborne on 500 grams of fuel for over 10 hours, giving the unit 10 times the endurance of conventional battery-powered UAVs.

According to reports, the 80 centimeter-long, 150 centimeter-wide machine derives its power from specially processed liquefied sodium tetrahydridoborate (NaBH4) packed in a fuel cartridge, along with a micro pump, speed controller and a propeller.

With smaller-sized UAVs making inroads around the world for police and military surveillance work, countries around the world are engaged in finding an efficient energy source for UAVs. Currently, the United States has been experimenting with compressed hydrogen, but that is hard to refuel in the field, and also fails to extend the range significantly.

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Korean engineers launch fuel cell-powered, long range UAV