With the rising development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), there is an immediate need to power these devices. As every UAV is trying to become smaller and lighter, battery developers are searching for answers to help aid these advances. Aircraft battery developers are working continuously around the clock to make batteries more light weight and to increase the power output to fit into these ever-changing UAVs.
Lithium Batteries are currently being used to allow for a reduced weight and size. Typically they are used for powering sensors, Instrumentation platforms or used for emergency backup power. Military-grade Metal-Oxide Batteries tend to have a small 4V of power and discharge 135-500 mAH. It is said that this type of battery is used for emergency power in case of an unmanned air reconnaissance needs to make an unscheduled landing due to system issues.
Most batteries should be in compliance with MIL-STD 810G, focusing on the specs for “vibration, shock, temperature shock, salt fog, altitude, acceleration (50,000 gn), and spinning (30,000 rpm)”. Also, they should conform to UN 1642 and IEC 60086 standards for “crush, impact, nail penetration, heat, overcharge, and short circuit”.
Previously, the reserve/thermal batteries had very high internal temperatures, which needed to be covered with thermal insulation causing a heavier weight. With the lithium metal oxide unit, there will be quick activation without the need for gas generators.
Finally, rechargeable lithium-polymer batteries and lithium-ion batteries have powered more of the everyday UAVs that you see hoovering around parks and catching beautiful over head shots and camera angles. These batteries are for short term used compared to their military counterpart lithium batteries.
With more and more technology being adapted towards military UAVs and consumer hobbyist UAVs, the need for a longer lasting, more environmental friendlier, and a higher powered battery is required.
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