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Thermoelectric Power for Unmanned Ground Vehicles

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles allow for successful reconnaissance without endangering airmen or ground soldiers. Thermoelectric systems provide support for a surveillance suite of sensors, which facilitate the vehicle’s image recording capability.

II-VI Marlow's thermal reference sources provide real time calibration of infrared detectors, by offering a radio metrically uniform, blackbody source that one can set to a range of temperatures. Such technology requires a controller that achieves the target temperature range, based upon the changes detected by a thermal sensor. This system, located within an image sensor device, provides the thermal management necessary to record video/imagery in daylight or thermal images at night.

While competing technologies do not demand temperature stabilization, sensors equipped with a thermoelectric system provide higher image sensitivity and clarity. II-VI Marlow offers rugged thermoelectric cooling solutions of minimal size, weight and power output to ensure maximum endurance and performance of image sensors in remote environments. II-VI Marlows’ thermal reference sources meet safety flight certification requirements.

II-VI Marlow also offers power generation solutions for small UAVs, beyond image sensing. In this process, thermoelectric power generators convert heat from a combusted battlefield fuel to electrical power for vehicle propellers, radio and navigation systems, and other electronics vital to aircraft operation. These thermoelectric power sources can be 4-5x more energy dense than a battery, enabling battery powered UAV’s to operate 4-5x’s longer. Furthermore, this technology recharges batteries by simply re-filling a fuel tank, thereby eliminating down time typically needed to recharge and increasing vehicle readiness capability.

For additional information, please visit our Power Generation Center.

Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS)

Ground sensors spread along a forward edge of the battle area (FEBA) provide critical intelligence to military personnel, while reducing human exposure during surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Current ground sensors use battery power and require regular replacements to ensure operability. In addition to the replacement expense, personnel deployed to maintenance the sensors are continually at risk.

II-VI Marlows’ high-temperature thermoelectric generators enable a thermoelectric power source solution for perimeter surveillance that extends the operating time of these critical sensors. This technology reduces the cost of battery replacements and risk to military personnel when sensors deployment in hostile areas is required. These thermoelectric devices can power an unattended ground sensor by converting heat produced by a battlefield ready JP-8 fuel burner into electrical power, an energy source 4-5x denser than battery power. This capability enables the sensor to operate 4-5x’s longer between battery charges; thus proving ideal for battlefield scenarios.

For additional information, please visit our Power Generation Center.

Robotics (Unattended Ground Vehicles, UGV)

Unattended ground vehicles have the potential to significantly minimize human exposure along enemy lines. A remote control robotic device designed to enter high-risk areas and gather vital data regarding enemy capability can reduce the need for human reconnaissance and surveillance. Existing robots use battery power, an energy source that demands regular replacement and maintenance.

The II-VI Marlow thermoelectric solution will power unattended ground vehicles for extended periods of time. Prior to activation, the thermoelectric device located within a robot will harness heat from a battlefield ready fuel burner (JP-8). The power generation devices will then convert the heat to electrical power for the robotic device; generating an energy source 4-5x denser than its battery operated counterpart. This process eliminates the need for transport of additional battery supplies and enables the surveillance equipment to maintain power longer than a battery or other energy source. II-VI Marlows’ commitment to quality and testing- specifically for extreme, rugged conditions-meets the standard requirements of the defense industry.

For additional information, please visit our Power Generation Center.

Soldier Wireless Electronic Power

Soldiers on the battlefield currently carry a battery supply for wireless equipment operation, due to the regular need for replacements while in the field.

II-VI Marlow power generation technology utilizes the heat from a portable battlefield fuel burner to provide electricity for soldier equipment. This thermoelectric solution substitutes the need for a surplus battery count with a portable power source: a small burner and a lightweight, rugged power generation system. Energy produced through this system can provide the electrical power needed to charge a cell phone and other tools necessary for survival in remote areas. This method of power generation provides a self-powered, low maintenance and durable energy source designed to increase soldier mobility.

For additional information, please visit our Power Generation Center.