The AFWERX Agility Prime Program recently received a demonstration of a mobile battery care station developed by Utah-based Arctech Charge in a bid to address battery management challenges faced by eVTOL aircraft.
The station, which was specifically designed to support eVTOL aircraft testing and operations, can provide fast and safe charging for up to 36 batteries at a time. The station’s battery charging bays are climate controlled and can offer two battery care profiles: one for extending battery life cycles and one for charging as quickly and safely as possible.
Manti Gleason, the Co-Founder/CEO of Arctech Charge, said they focused on “mobility and safety” when developing the battery charging station, which is something the Agility Prime program managers were said to have insisted on with the project.
“We can either prioritize faster battery turnover or focus on longevity for our battery fleet,” he said. “Our battery care profiles use dynamic charging to optimize the battery’s charge condition, ensuring that it meets mission operational needs while also extending its lifespan.”
The station’s ability to provide optimal care for each battery will reduce the need for frequent battery replacements, which has the potential to save time and money for end users.
Additionally, the two battery care profiles will allow users to choose the best battery care option based on their specific needs, which will help test and operate eVTOL aircraft more efficiently and effectively.
Pat Candelaria, an Agility Prime program manager, said he was impressed by the demonstration of Arctech Charge’s mobile battery charging station and the progress of the eVTOL industry.
“This is a great example of how the Air Force is collaborating with the industrial base and the small business community to foster innovation and accelerate the development of transformative vertical lift capabilities,” he commented. “We are excited to see the potential applications of eVTOL aircraft for both military and civilian missions, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with this community in the future.”
The Agility Prime program collaborates with the small business community through the Department of the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transition programs to advance the eVTOL industry. It has already achieved several successes in collaborating with small businesses such as Arctech Charge.