DroneUp is testing hydrogen fuel cells for UAS

April 20, 2023
Most drones today are battery electric, but hydrogen power may be the future, Jack Daleo reports for Flying.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., - Hydrogen fuel cells are steadily catching on in ground-based transportation, but could they soon be a fixture of our airspace? That appears to be the goal for Virginia Beach-based drone delivery firm DroneUp. The Walmart partner, which powers the retailer’s largest-in-the-nation commercial drone delivery network, recently announced its plans to test hydrogen fuel cell technology from Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI), one of the first firms to commercialize hydrogen-powered drones, Jack Daleo reports for FlyingContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

20 April 2023 - DMI’s hydrogen fuel cell technology yields 3-to-1 energy density characteristics when compared to lithium battery-powered drones. This new technology greatly increases drone flight time to 2-5 hours, depending on several factors like payload weight and weather. In addition to the increased flight time, the new hydrogen technology being tested also has environmental sustainability benefits.

As DroneUp scales its commercial drone operation in verticals such as delivery, inspection, commercial real estate, and more, it is critical to identify new technologies that will help advance that mission. The testing of DMI’s hydrogen fuel cell power packs to increase flight time while reducing carbon emissions.

“The technology industry evolves incredibly quickly and the drone industry evolves even faster,” said John Vernon, CTO of DroneUp. “It is absolutely critical we explore new technology like this and continue testing and validating how it can help us move forward. This collaboration is really interesting because it addresses two major aspects of commercial drone services, increasing flight time and reducing carbon emissions. We’re really excited to see the results from this as it could be a significant game-changer for the industry.”

Related: This Swiss hypersonic hydrogen-powered jet will cut flights from Europe to Australia to four hours

Related: Honeywell and WPI to study hydrogen storage and power generation for aviation

Related: Successful test flight of hydrogen-powered plane gives sustainable aviation a lift

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!