The Hydrogen Engine Center (HEC-TINA) and Arcturus UAV have announced a joint partnership to develop a hydrogen fuelled internal combustion engine capable of supporting the T-20 family of unmanned aircraft.
Defense organizations face significant logistical, safety, and security challenges in the transportation and storage of large amounts of heavy fuel (diesel) required to fuel unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations. Diesel is the most commonly available fuel overseas, and has led to a demand for small UAV heavy fuel engines. These engines are relatively unreliable and are a significant cause of aircraft losses due to engine failure. They are expensive, and require extensive preventive maintenance. Small gasoline engines (Mogas or even high octane low lead) are much more reliable but have their own problems – access to refining is spotty, and local supplies are of inconsistent quality.
To resolve these problems, and reduce the risk, reliability, and logistical challenges of shipping gas from the U.S., another fuel alternative is needed.
This initiative will enable development of remotely located “filling stations” to both manufacture and store fuel necessary to support UAV operations.
The objectives of this research and development include the ability to provide a long endurance, highly reliable, low heat signature, lightweight, zero- or very low emission engine; and to develop a system of filling stations engaged in the production and storage of fuel in the region of operations.
Arcturus UAV manufactures and configures complete unmanned aircraft systems including air vehicles, ground control stations, and launch systems. Arcturus also provides full integration of non-standard payloads. Arcturus UAV provides standard configuration aircraft as well as application-specific airframe design and manufacturing.
The Arcturus T-20 is a medium range tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system designed and manufactured by Arcturus-UAV for the United States Armed Forces. The system comprises two aerial vehicles, a ground control station (GCS), a portable launcher and a support trailer for payload and personnel. Flying up to a maximum altitude of 15,000ft, the T-20 provides its operators with real time intelligence data by carrying out surveillance and reconnaissance operations over a large area.
Hydrogen Engine Center, Inc., and its subsidiary, HEC-TINA, Inc. develops systems and processes used in the design, manufacture and distribution of clean energy and carbon-free renewable hydrogen fuel systems including alternative fuel internal combustion engines, engine controls and generator systems. HEC-TINA technologies can provide 24 hours/day and 7 days a week energy to customers and partners in industrial and power generation markets. The hydrogen fuel source is produced by the application of electrolysis to water, using energy from any source of energy including wind, solar, hydroelectric, or fossil sources. These solutions and the engines using them are also designed to run on methanol, ammonia and other traditional renewable fuels. Engines and engine products are sold under the brand name Oxx PowerTM.