Airbus Defense and Space and Sion Power Corporation today announced the signing of a three-year Collaborative Agreement. The agreement provides for Sion Power to enhance and supply proprietary lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries for use in Airbus Defense and Space’s Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) aircraft.
This agreement extends the previously successful Zephyr 7 program in which Sion Power batteries were employed during the night, along with solar power during the day, to achieve record-breaking flights of more than 14 days without refueling or landing. The Zephyr 7 aircraft had a wingspan of 70 ft (22.5 m).
The Zephyr 8 aircraft is larger, with increased payload capacity, and will employ custom Li-S battery packs designed and assembled in Tucson Arizona. The Zephyr aircraft is at the forefront of the HAPS arena, holding 3 world records. Zephyr aircraft have already flown in a number of different airspaces under challenging winter conditions. Airbus Defense and Space has obtained permissions to fly these aircraft in both commercial and military situations alike. No other HAPS system has as many flight hours, reliability and flexibility of operation.
The battery packs utilize Sion’s unique, high specific energy Li-S technology and provide 350 Wh/kg, the highest available for a rechargeable battery. The Li-S battery packs are engineered to minimize total pack weight. Advanced electronic controls maintain battery conditions throughout the flights.
“We are extremely pleased and honored to collaborate with Airbus on advancing its strategically important HAPS program while building on the Airbus/Sion Power relationship established several years ago. Our experience working together has gained important momentum as Airbus Defense and Space program continues to lead the industry supplying advanced HAPS aircraft,” said John Kopera, Sion Power’s Vice President, Commercial Operations. Dr. Dennis Mangino, Sion Power CEO, added, “We are excited to be working with Airbus on this transformational program.”
Thomas Keupp, Vice President and Head of Portfolio Management at Airbus stated, “Our collaboration with Sion Power will enhance Airbus Unmanned Aerial Pseudo- Satellite vehicles important to our extensive portfolio of aircraft products. Sion Power is a world leader in lightweight, high energy Li-S battery technology. Combining Airbus and Sion Power engineering expertise has proven to be a successful platform for our on-going success.”
About Airbus Defense and Space:
Airbus Defense and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defense and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defense enterprises. It employs some 40,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €14 billion per year.
About Sion Power:
Privately held Sion Power Corporation is the global leader in the development of a new generation of high-energy, rechargeable lithium-sulfur batteries for UAV, military, portable power, and electric vehicle markets. Sion Power has assembled a world-class team of scientists and engineers dedicated to advancing Li-S battery technology. The company has more than 100 U.S. and international patents and is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. Further information is available at www.sionpower.com.