Small Fuel Cells Conference, Washington, D.C.,
MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. (MTI Micro), the developer of the award-winning MobionTM micro fuel cell battery replacement technology, made public a study today that examines the increasing challenges faced by the U.S. Military to keep up with personal power demands of modern soldiers. Jane's Information Group, a leading independent provider of intelligence and analysis on national and international defense, conducted the study. MTI commissioned the study as part of the Company's plans to deliver fuel cell-based military solutions to the government in 2006.
The study cites unmet power demands created by the rapid advances in technology that are making modern combat soldiers exponentially better equipped and better informed than their predecessors. From night vision goggles and satellite communications to smart weapons and networked sensors, the battlefield has become an increasingly electronic and power-hungry landscape. In the U.S. Army inventory alone there are currently between 450 and 500 items dependent upon batteries to enable some or all of their functionality.
Additional study highlights include:
* The electronics requirements of the Future Soldier require substantial technological improvements to ensure that power advances keep pace with transformational technologies.
* U.S. Army has established high aspirations for improved equipment powering capabilities during the next decade. Current power sources are provided to meet the requirements of a typical 12-hour mission, and the aim is to meet the requirements of a 24-hour mission by 2007-8 and a 72-hour mission by 2012.
* From stepped up border patrols in support of homeland security efforts to the development of new, super-trained, super-equipped, multi-role military units, the trend towards the individual warfighter as "command node" is likely to accelerate in the coming years.
* The addition of sensors and other aids to the individual soldier in this new environment has led to a dramatic increase in the demands for portable power sources. This requirement is by no means limited to the infantry. There has been an explosion in the need for advanced communications, surveillance, situational awareness and IT systems through the military and homeland security infrastructure. The power requirements for this growing inventory are largely supplied by batteries.
* Looking at current procurement trends, public statements from military leaders, and the R&D pipeline of almost every major contractor, it is clear that the trend toward equipment providing "extended connectivity" will intensify.
* Preparing for the Future Soldier and the required electronics package will require a combination of technological and managerial improvements in the coming years to ensure that power advances keep pace with transformational technologies.
The study concludes by saying that although smart bombs, space weapons, and nano-sized war machines will undoubtedly continue to capture the lion's share of national attention, solving power supply problems is likely to provide a far more tangible benefit to the troops at the front lines. The U.S. Army is likely to be at the forefront of the military in terms of testing and adopting new battery alternative technologies.
About MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc.
MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc., a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology Incorporated, is the developer of the award winning Mobion direct methanol micro fuel cell technology. The Company has a world-class team of entrepreneurial business executives, researchers and scientists; a number of system prototypes demonstrating size reductions and performance improvements; significant related intellectual property; and has received government awards and developed strategic partnerships to help accelerate commercialization.
For further information: MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. (518) 533-2220 (603) 433-0086. www.mtimicrofuelcells.com