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07 Oct 13. US Army explores portable JP-8 fuel conversion technology development. The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) scientists have partnered with the Communications-Electronics and the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering centres to develop technology for portable prototypes for conversion of Jet Propellant 8 JP-8 to clean hydrogen for fuel cell applications. Widely used by the army to power aircraft, tactical ground vehicles engines and electrical generators, JP-8 however has some problems, such as extensive logistics supply chain and high cost for force protection of convoys. Fuel cell team leader Dr. Deryn Chu said the demand for portable electrical power for both commercial and military applications is growing. Despite costing roughly $15 per gallon, the fuel’s cost reaches hundreds of dollars by the time it is moved to and around operational locations, according to Chu. Chu further noted that for the army the smallest gain in efficiency is important. However, when the concept is fully developed, fuel cells may yield huge gains, potentially doubling the efficiency of diesel generators. US Army Research Laboratory electro-chemistry scientist Dr. Dat Tran said JP-8 was a complicated and dirty fuel, due to the presence of sulfur that can hurt the fuel cells. Working as part of the army team, Tran has at least tested 300 different combinations of materials that can lower the sulfur concentration in JP-8 over the past four years. The army has been exploring fuel cells since the 1960s realising its potential for increasing efficiency, but is facing a challenge to develop a portable, quick and easy-to-use fuel reformation process for better energy conversion. The high-efficient fuel cell systems are primarily expected to reduce logistical supply during deployment to foreign locations with no infrastructure and limited supplies. (Source: army-technology.com)
07 Oct 13. Silent Falcon is a small company working to develop a solar-powered UAS with an advanced camera system and on Oct. 1, said company CEO John Brown, it launched its Silent Falcon Marketing to start selling the systems. “Where we are now, we are transitioning from final development to commercial production. It is my hope and intent to set up a small final assembly facility in Albuquerque,” Brown said. The company has not sold any of its UAS systems yet. But it has raised $2m and is starting its second round of financing, Brown said. “Our objective is to, in January or February, have these commercial systems done,” Brown said. Silent Falcon has been testing at both the UAV testing facility run by New Mexico State University and in Moriarty. The Silent Falcon UAS takes its name from their silent, electric motors powered by several banks of solar panels on the wings. The plan can fly as long as the sun is out. The company has taken a circuitous path to locating in Albuquerque, starting as part of the Denver-based aerospace think tank Bye Aerospace before Brown moved it to Albuquerque. Brown, a former board member at Altela, said that though U.S. laws make it difficult for UAS companies to fly here, other countries are more welcoming to the idea. The company’s first marketing strategy will focus on southeast Asia, before focusing on the U.S. market in 2015 or later. (Source: Open Source Information Report/Albuquerque Business First)
09 Oct 13. Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, working with the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) has completed the initial awards under all four Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Mult