First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drones Will Fly In 2017, British Company Will Make Them

Wirth Research Computational Fluid Dynamics Super 1 photo
Photo: Wirth Research
Most drones operate entirely on electricity, which is sourced from a battery. Things will change next year, when a British company will introduce a fleet of autonomous hydrogen fuel cell drones.
The drones will not be operated by the average Joe, but have been commissioned by Deryl Research K.K, which is a subsidiary of Japanese Deryl Group K.K. that wants to use them for terrain mapping. The idea behind ordering a fleet of drones was to have a way to cover as much ground as possible with zero in-flight emissions and an extensive range.

According to Wirth Research, the British company that was commissioned to develop and build this fleet, the resulting drones will operate using an advanced hybrid power system, which will be flown using hydrogen fuel cells as its fundamental source of energy.

Those hydrogen fuel cells will be employed to generate electricity to power the motors of the drones, but it is unclear what the rest of the system will do to be considered a hybrid.

The contract marks the unprecedented challenge of integrating a hybrid hydrogen fuel cell power system into a drone. Usually, these systems tend to weigh more than a few pounds, and smaller units, as required for use on drones, have not been publicly showcased.

Regardless, we are curious to see how these drones will look, because Wirth Research only published a photo of their Computational Fluid Dynamics conglomerate, which is pictured above.

The fleet of drones will be used for 3D terrain mapping over large areas, which has not been done on a large scale because of logistical or economic reasons. The new solution will allow mapmakers to cover the size of whole countries, which will bring better maps for all to use.

Autonomous cars, for example, would get the chance to have a 3D view of all the roads in a country that was mapped, but it will take years to gather, analyze, and export the data to third-party companies, including automakers.

The fleet of hydrogen fuel cell drones that will be used for 3D mapping will be delivered in 2017. As we previously noted, it is the first of its kind in the World to use this propulsion solution.

Unfortunately, do not anticipate to be able to buy one, as they are not indented for consumers just yet. GPS or The Internet were supposed to be just for the military, so there is hope for hydrogen drones meant for the public.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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