Green UAVs Quietly Fly Forward
Ion Tiger, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research program at the Naval Research Laboratory, is merging UAV technology and fuel cell systems that are more efficient and reduce noise. An Office of Naval Research-sponsored program, the Ion Tiger UAV tests a hydrogen-powered fuel cell design that has more endurance in flight distance and payload weight than battery-powered designs. The UAV also features a low heat signature and no emissions. Still in the testing phases, the aircraft's flight trial this spring is expected to deliver results that exceed the duration of previous flights sevenfold: 24 hours with a five-pound payload.