US Army Picks Four Firms to Develop Soldier Energy Solutions
US Army Futures Command has selected four companies to develop lightweight energy solutions for ground soldiers.
As part of the eight-week Soldier Power Cohort, the companies will design solutions demonstrating power generation, conversion, and storage while reducing the weight a soldier has to carry and his dependence on power resupply.
Lightening the Soldier’s Load
“With more technology comes more weight and the need for more power,” Director of the Army Applications Laboratory Col. Jay Wisham explained. “We need to find a smart way to lighten that load for soldiers who work in expeditionary environments for days at a time.”
“While the commercial market for these technologies is relatively niche, both the army and industry are facing similar challenges in how to maintain power for devices when away from the grid. This cohort offers a way to join forces and move the field forward while keeping our Soldiers safe and effective in the harshest environments.”
The four companies — Epirus, Resonant Link, Spark Thermionics, and Xerion Advanced Battery — will receive $100,000 each for their effort.
“Gaining buy-in from those key stakeholders is essential to accessing follow-on funding and, optimally, transitioning to a Program of Record,” the Army Applications Laboratory explained in a fact sheet.
According to the service, Epirus has an efficient, high-powered technology platform, while Resonant Link will showcase its wireless power charging capability.
Meanwhile, Spark Thermionics is developing electricity generation technology through thermionic energy conversion, while Xerion Advanced Battery is building “high-energy, fast-charging, lithium-ion batteries.”