ATI awards contract to GA-EMS to develop LiFT battery system for LDUUV

7 February 2019 (Last Updated February 7th, 2019 12:28)

Advanced Technology International (ATI) has awarded a contract to General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) to develop and test a prototype Lithium-ion Fault Tolerant (LiFT) battery system.

ATI awards contract to GA-EMS to develop LiFT battery system for LDUUV
The LiFT battery system will power the propulsion and support systems of the prototype ‘Snakehead’ LDUUV. Credit: General Atomics.

Advanced Technology International (ATI) has awarded a contract to General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) to develop and test a prototype Lithium-ion Fault Tolerant (LiFT) battery system.

The LiFT battery system under development will power the propulsion and support systems of the Navy’s prototype large-displacement unmanned undersea vehicle (LDUUV), called ‘Snakehead’.

The US Navy plans to use Snakehead for greater endurance, range, and payload hosting capabilities for future mission and operations requirements.

GA-EMS president Scott Forney said: “Our LiFT battery systems are designed to withstand the rugged marine environment and provide safe, reliable power that is critical to keeping propulsion and support systems operating throughout a mission cycle.

“We look forward to expanding our efforts to develop and demonstrate prototype LiFT battery systems to support the LDUUV, as we continue to provide LiFT systems for various other critical manned and unmanned underwater platforms used by the Department of Defense.”

With a modular design and single cell fault tolerance, the LiFT battery system prevents lithium-ion cell failure and improves the safety of personnel and platforms while maintaining power to support missions.

“LiFT battery systems eliminate those complexities, simplifying installation, operation, and maintenance without compromising safety and reliability."

Furthermore, the battery system’s flexible architecture supports configuration to meet the needs of manned and unmanned underwater vehicles.

The LiFT battery systems have been put through at-sea testing, including use in undersea vehicles classified by international accredited registrar and classification society DNV GL.

GA-EMS Programs vice-president Rolf Ziesing stated that the LiFT batteries contain passive safety features.

Ziesing added: “Some lithium-ion battery systems rely on an active forced water-cooling system to cool batteries and mitigate thermal events. Active systems add more equipment, weight, and certification requirements to qualify a platform for use in a maritime environment.

“LiFT battery systems eliminate those complexities, simplifying installation, operation, and maintenance without compromising safety and reliability.”