Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles
|Copyright © 2006 Andreas Parsch|
The Naval Research Laboratory's Spider-Lion vehicle is a research mini-UAV to test fuel cell propulsion systems for small UAVs. The aircraft's PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cell was jointly developed by the NRL and Protonex Technology Corporation, and delivers a total power of 100 W (of which 10 W are required for system operation).
The Spider-Lion vehicle weighs 2.5 kg (5.6 lb), and in November 2005 it conducted a flight of 3 hours 19 minutes duration. As of December 2005, the UAV was used in simulated tests to acquire further data on performance and efficiency. Long-term goal is the development of an efficient fuel-cell propulsion system for long-endurance (8-24 h) mini-UAV applications, something which cannot be achieved with current battery technology.
No data about the Spider-Lion's dimensions or performance characteristics are available.
 NRL UAV Fact Sheets
 NRL demonstrates fuel cell-powered unmanned aerial system, NRL Press Release, 29 November 2005
 US Naval Research Laboratory fuels UAV power development, Flight International, 20 December 2005
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