Web Page sponsor Oxley Developments
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.
02 Aug 10. The U.S. Army has begun deploying to Afghanistan battery-recharging kits that run on renewable energy. Developed by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center here, the Rucksack Enhanced Portable Power
System, or REPPS, combines solar panels, connectors and adaptors for increased charging options. The 10-pound REPPS is portable and uses a flexible, 62-watt, anti-glint solar panel. Moreover, REPPS can charge the most common military battery types in five to six hours. If devices with higher power need to be charged, several REPPS may be daisy-chained together, officials said. Ultimately, REPPS will not only facilitate the Soldiers’ mission, but will also help save lives, said Tony Bui, an engineer with the Army Power Division of the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center.
“[It] reduces the enemy’s detection because before, troops would have to
constantly go [to their vehicles or the nearest tactical operation centers] and replace batteries, and then give away where they were hiding,” said Bui.
REPPS evolved from the Soldier Photovoltaic Portable Power Pack, or SP4, a simpler technology that consisted of a solar panel with only battery-charging capabilities. Comparatively, REPPS “is capable of a whole spectrum of delivering power and charging,” Bui said.
It has a larger panel and far more connectors and adapters that allow for new functions such as AC to DC conversion and pass-thru assembly, which enables batteries and external devices to be charged simultaneously, he explained. The first shipment of REPPS was sent to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team at Forward Operating Base Shank in Logar, Afghanistan, July 8. So far, Bui has received positive feedback on REPPS from Soldiers who have used it out in the field.
“The feedback that we have received from units who have used it is overwhelmingly positive. Feedback from the units ranged from ‘reduced fuel consumption’ to ‘provided a charging source for reconnaissance missions.’ The units expressed great content with the ease of use, ruggedness, durability and operational flexibility, extending their capabilities,” he said.
Technology that relies on renewable energy is a critical focus area for CERDEC Army Power. Not only is renewability important because it’s convenient and sometimes even essential when Soldiers are operating in areas that are far removed from main power distribution lines, but also because it addresses the problems of rising fuel costs and the security risks associated with delivering fuel. Accordingly, Bui said he believes that REPPS and similar technologies have a bright future.
“A reduction in photovoltaic product size, we