Proton Energy Systems has announced a $1.25 million contract with the U. S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to build a high-altitude lighter-than-air prototype powered by hydrogen. The hydrogen aircraft will be unmanned, un-tethered and gas-filled and use a PEM fuel cell stack solar energy to power the vehicle.
The PEM fuel cell stack will be monitored closely as it is scaled up to the size required for high-altitude deployment. The hydrogen aircraft will be capable of flying up to 70,000 feet.
Proton Energy Systems is no stranger to hydrogen and fuel cells, however. In July 2006, Proton partnered with Northern Power Systems to open up Vermont’s first hydrogen fueling station located in Burlington.
Proton Energy Systems also had a hand in developing New York’s first solar-hydrogen home. The home was build by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the New York Institute of Technology using a HOGEN RE generator from Proton.