Power generation and energy storage devices are essential components of the operational capabilities of the modern U. S. military. They are paramount to the tactical performance of advanced electronic systems such as Night Vision Goggles, GPS systems, and laser target designators. The modern “digitized” U.S. military relies extensively on these electronic technologies and others as they are fully integrated into combat environments. However, the demand for these electronic systems, as well as new tactical capabilities, is outpacing the supply of available power and energy devices. Recent studies from Iraq show that standard military power and energy systems, such as generators and batteries, were in high demand but short supply, which often limited operational speed and capabilities. In an effort to improve upon existing military power generation and energy storage devices, the Army’s Research, Development, and Engineering Centers (RDECs) are evaluating innovative technologies such as fuel cells for military applications. A variety of programs at the U.S. ARMY Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC) Fuel Cell lab are serving to fill the power and energy gap for soldier-based platforms. CERDEC serves as a test, evaluation, and program management center focused on transitioning integrated systems from the labs to the users. CERDEC has adopted a “systems of systems” approach to the development and testing of military fuel cell units and strives to develop completely packaged systems in order to rapidly transition fuel cell technology into the field. This paper will address current Army Communications-Electronics Research Development Engineering Center (CERDEC) fuel cell technology programs and their adaptation into military environments.

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