NASA asks industry for lithium-ion batteries for testing on electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft

March 6, 2023
The aim of the project is to research the survivability of Li-ion ESS in the event of a high-energy impact.

WASHINGTON - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is seeking bids on de-energized lithium-ion (Li-ion) energy storage systems (ESS) as the agency looks to test electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

The aim of the project is to research the survivability of Li-ion ESS in the event of a high-energy impact. eVTOL aircraft utilize stored electric energy to power electric motors, propellers, and avionics.

NASA says this type of system is a new alternative to conventional liquid propulsion systems, and has been created to operate quietly and economically, which are factors for operating in the urban environment, all while producing zero or close to zero emissions, which are environmental factors. One barrier hindering potential growth of these new aircraft is the certification aspect for the ESS systems.

The certification for the ESS systems will have to be based on a variety of requirements, one of which may involve

the survivability of the ESS in a dynamic mishap event or crash. The performance of the ESS systems undergoing loading within the dynamic impact environment is unknown and a gap in the current knowledgebase. This barrier will need to be overcome before widespread adaptation can occur.

The Li-ion ESS will be subject to a 50-foot drop test to generate data to support the development of eVTOL regulations.

NASA says the selected company will deliver seven de-energized Li-ion battery modules; provide 272 hours of engineering support; on-site set-up; on-call availability; advisement for storage, handling, and transportation of the battery modules; advisement for post-test inspections; and disposal after the tests are completed.

Quotes for the items are due by 6 March 2023 5:00 p.m. eastern. Questions must be submitted in writing to [email protected]. The NAICS code for this procurement is 335999.

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