MANHASSET, NY -- The military needs lighter, more efficient energy storage devices for its personnel.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a $1.7 million contract to Maxwell Technologies, Inc. for developing an advanced energy storage device for portable radios.
The initial one-year phase of an eventual $8 million program is targeting lighter, longer-lasting energy supply for field radios and other portable electronic equipment carried by military personnel.
Maxwell will lead a team including the U.S. Navy and the University of Massachusetts that is tasked with developing an energy storage device combining an advanced capacitor module, an advanced battery pack and power management electronics.
"This program will further demonstrate the synergy between batteries and ultracapacitors, and, more importantly, lead to improved energy storage solutions to support the effectiveness and safety of our armed forces personnel," said David Schramm, Maxwell's president and chief executive officer.
The goal of the program is to develop an enhanced energy source that will provide extended run time and longer operational life than existing batteries alone, thereby reducing the requirement to carry heavy, bulky, spare batteries.
To ensure that field military personnel are energy self-sufficient during extended missions, they typically carry primary and spare batteries weighing more than 60 pounds to power a growing assortment of portable electronic equipment.
Maxwell Technologies provides high-reliability energy storage and power delivery solutions for applications not only for the military but also for consumer and industrial electronics, automotive, transportation and telecommunications.
The San Diego, Calif.-based company was founded in 1965 as a provider of contract R&D services to various U.S. government agencies. It now generates virtually all of its revenue from sales of commercial products.
Research for developing printable storage devices is the next step to shrink the the size and increase the efficiency of storage devices.
High efficient battery technology will become, if not already are, one of the major research areas in 2011. Mobile devices, hybrid car, electric car, etc, need a better battery. I can't wait to have a smartphone which doesn't need to go back into the charger in 1+ weeks.
A side note, usually, military research is leading the technology for a couple of years. Lately, news indicates that the time gap of new tech development between military and commercial becomes narrower. Battery technology is one of the examples. I am expecting there are more to come in the near future.