Power Electronics

Li-ion Packs To Lead Power Systems onto Battlefield

Saft (www.saftbatteries.com), a manufacturer of high-tech batteries, has won a contract with DRS Technologies (www.drs.com) of Huntsville, Alabama to provide mission critical power for the Active Denial System (ADS). DRS supplies the power system to the Raytheon Missile Systems (www.raytheon.com), which is the prime contractor for ADS program. Incorporating Saft’s advanced Li-ion battery pack into the transportable ADS will provide significant weight savings to the overall system.

The rechargeable 48-V battery modules are based on Saft’s high-energy VL30P series cylindrical cells and incorporate electronic monitoring and control electronic circuitry. Saft’s Li-ion batteries were selected to power the first mobile ADS and under this new contract with DRS, Saft will continue to supply battlefield ready power for the transportable ADS.

Active Denial Technology is a non-lethal technology that uses millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy to stop, deter and turn back an advancing adversary from a relatively long range. It is expected to save countless lives by providing a way to stop individuals without causing injury, before a deadly confrontation develops. The mobile ADS is designed to operate from the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV).

“The reliability and dependability of our Li-ion batteries, as well as their advanced technologies, make them an ideal power source for this advanced directed energy system,” said David Roller, Saft’s director of defense sales in North America.

Saft supplies the ADS batteries as a modular pack, ready to plug and go, comprising VL30P cylindrical Li-ion cells configured to provide a nominal 30-Ah capacity at +21°C. Battlefield power for the ADS is provided by a modular battery pack, using Saft’s Li-ion batteries, because it provides high-power performance over a wide range of temperatures and is easily configured to meet the requirements for this application.

In addition, Saft developed a special software package for use with the ADS battery pack that enables it to interface with a PC to provide a direct readout of the battery condition. This enables the operator to run a suite of health checks on key criteria such as individual cell voltages, enabling accurate prediction of battery life, so the pack can be serviced and recharged before it reaches a critical level.

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