MCLEAN, Va. — The critical nexus of performance of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) is an adequate supply of energy, a Navy official said.
Speaking to an audience Nov. 5 in McLean at the Unmanned Systems Program Review sponsored by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, CAPT Dave Hornbach, the Navy’s program manager for unmanned maritime systems, emphasized the need for more powerful energy storage systems for UUVs, saying, “Energy drives everything about the UUV.”
Hornbach emphasized the need for safe, reliable, and powerful systems to power the service’s UUVs. Citing the extensive use of lithium-ion batteries on UUVs, he said, “Safety associated with that is not where in needs to be.”
Hornbach said the issue is not just reducing overheating in the batteries themselves but with the need to isolate each battery so that an “exothermal event” in one battery can be contained and does not spread to the other batteries on the UUV.
The safety issue not only concerns the UUV but also the storage of the UUV on a mother ship so that it does not endanger the platform.