Long Endurance Fuel Cell Drone

Company: Doosan Mobility Innovation

Category: Drones & Unmanned Systems

The world’s first commercial hydrogen fuel cell powerpack for drones, Doosan’s DP30 Powerpack provides more than two hours of flight time and charges in less than 10 minutes.

Doosan’s hydrogen fuel cell drones consist of a powerpack — a lightweight, fuel cell system — and drone frames (current model is named DS30) that uses the powerpack.

Built and offered as a modular package kit, the DP30 Powerpack can be customized to suit many commercial drone platforms, and with longer flight times, enables new efficiencies in various industries that need drone fleets, from agriculture to law enforcement.

Doosan anticipates applications for fuel cell drones to include infrastructure inspections, construction and mining surveying, and even distribution. With fuel cell drones, applications like close-up photography and crack identification in transmission towers or wild fire surveillance can also be easier.

The View App allows users to monitor the powerpack’s conditions, such as voltage. Drones can then stop at nearby landing points or return to a base when hydrogen runs low.

The Tech Behind It

Hydrogen is a new sustainable energy source for drones. The fuel cell powerpacks are powered by the electricity generated using hydrogen and oxygen reactions that create ions and electrons. From the refueled hydrogen tank in the powerpack, energy is provided to the drone.

Current battery-powered drones are only able to fly for 10 to 30 minutes, while a fuel cell powerpack, due to its high energy density, enables a more than two hour long flight time.

Because it will not combust in the same way gasoline-fueled engines might, and runs on a renewable and pollutant-free source of energy, hydrogen fuel cells are eco-friendly and safe.

Doosan’s drones, known as Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drones, addresses the inefficiencies of existing drones with restricted distances and costly satellite communications needs. Doosan’s drone network has opened up new capabilities for commercial use:

  • Remote control and monitoring using high-speed communication modules.
  • Real-time data sharing between the drone, cloud and user.
  • Mobile app management of drones.
  • Cloud network for management of multiple drones at the same time.
  • Autonomous flight features and more.

See Doosan Mobility Innovation at the CES 2020 Innovation Awards Showcase.

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