US Army grant supports hydrogen-powered UAV research

Jacob Leachman, an associate professor at Washington State University’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, has received a $1.8m grant from the US Army to demonstrate a liquid hydrogen-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and refuelling system.

The $7.2m total grant includes researchers from Mississippi State University (MSU), Institution Inc., and Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation.

Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing, will provide its ScanEagle3® UAV, equipped with a fuel cell-powered electric engine. MSU will measure the performance characteristics of the drone.

“Our goal is to make hydrogen refuelling of military vehicles more convenient and reliable than conventional hydrocarbon fuels,” said Leachman, head of the HYdrogn Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) laboratory at WSU.

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