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Honeywell purchases drone fuel cell supplier Ballard

Honeywell has bought the Southborough, Massachusetts-based Ballard Unmanned Systems (BUS), a company that develops and supplies hydrogen fuel cell power systems to drone developers, for an “undisclosed amount” from parent company Ballard Power Systems, reports aerospacetestinginternational.com.

BUS develops stored-hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems specifically for drones. Applied applications include the energy infrastructure for cargo delivery. Honeywell is acquiring the key intellectual property, inventory and equipment. All employees of the UAV subsidiary will transition to Honeywell Aerospace. This acquisition propels Honeywell into the hydrogen fuel cells market for unmanned aerial systems (UAS), as well as wider aviation operations.

Mike Madsen, president and CEO of Honeywell Aerospace said, “Adding Ballard Unmanned Systems to the Honeywell family is another example of our commitment to invest in the growing UAS segment. We can now begin producing top-quality, scalable power systems for our UAS customers, and eventually adapt these systems for other future aerospace, defense and adjacent segment applications.”

And Randy MacEwen, Ballard’s president and CEO commented, “We believe the UAV business will be best positioned within the Honeywell enterprise and look forward to our ongoing collaboration with the company.” Adding, “We remain positive on the long-term outlook for fuel cell propulsion systems in the UAV market.”

According to Ballard Unmanned Systems its liquid-cooled hydrogen fuel cell power systems can run up to three times longer than batteries and are five times more reliable than small engines, unlike traditional gas engines that have carbon emissions.

Honeywell intends to introduce a family of fuel cell power systems for a variety of UAS and work towards developing fuel cell systems for “broader aviation applications”.

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(News Source: https://www.aerospacetestinginternational.com)

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