Shoe box size univerrsal battery charger helps the soldier out in the field

28 May

 

When out in the field the modern military lives on batteries. They carry portable GPS, smartphones, hand held drones and wearable batteries just to name a few. Keeping all those batteries working is a major priority for military troops to carry out their missions.

“There is an increasing need with the networked Soldier for portable power,” said Dave Schimmel, PM SWAR lead engineer. “There is a widening gap between the need for power and the actual availability of that power when the Soldier is in the Tier-1 environment [the most austere environment, such as the remote areas of Afghanistan] so portable power is an absolute requirement.”

Up until recently this meant using older, bulky battery chargers that were created over two decades ago and only charged a few of the different types of batteries being used or carry spare batteries of every type. Either option could add weight and take up space that was need for other vital supplies. So, the call went out that their was a need for a smaller portable charge that could handle all the types of batteries. That call was answered by the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center (CERDEC) when they built their universal battery charger (UBC).

“You can hook this battery charger up to anything that provides power — a generator, fuel cell, solar panel, wind turbine, vehicle cigarette lighter – anything,” CERDEC CP&I engineer Marc Gietter said.
The UBC is approximately the size of the average shoe box and only weighs 6 pounds making it extremely portable for the soldier out in the field. It is built using smart technology so it can be used on any type of battery and recognize just how much power to feed each one of those batteries. In cases where there is no power supply to hook upto, the UBC comes equipped with a fold out solar panel.

For more on the UBC you might try the following articles:

 

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