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Posts Tagged ‘Protonex’

Widget Wednesday:  SATCOM Power

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Satellite communications systems have come a very long way since Sputnik, the Space Race, and INTELSAT. Long gone are the days of needing a truck, a generator, and an antenna the size of a small house too. Even very powerful satellite communications systems today are small enough and light enough to be carried and used by one person.

Which is just as well, because information and communications technologies are integral to the conduct of current military operations all around the world – and especially critical for small units operating far beyond the front lines (if “front lines” even exist anymore).

Special Operations Forces (SOF) in particular conduct a wide range of missions in austere environments for extended periods of time. SOF communicators must have the ability to effectively communicate between elements, to higher headquarters, and with their partner forces using multiple organic and non-organic radios, computers, and other devices. Fortunately, the PTX SPM-622 Squad Power Manager from Protonex can deliver the power to keep their communication lines up and running for constant operational capability.

The SPM-622 can integrate with and provide power for multiple SDN, SDN (L) and BGAN terminals to run computers, telephones, and other devices from sources other than AC power. AC power is not always available, or is irregular / unreliable, in many of the AOs where SOF and their support units may find themselves located. With its ability to scavenge power from solar blankets, vehicle outlets, military and non-military batteries (rechargeable or single use), generators, wind turbines, and any other source, the SPM becomes a field-expedient uninterruptible power source (UPS) to keep critical communication lines open at all times.

For further information, check out the APPLICATIONS and SOLUTIONS pages at www.PTXnomad.com or contact the Team.Room@Protonex.com.

Widget Wednesday: Aeryon SkyRanger R60 sUAS Field-Charging Solutions

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

“Drones” continue to be a hot topic and an area of ever growing adoption by military and law enforcement organizations. However, keeping UAV / UAS batteries charged and flying during demanding operational tempos and/or in remote locations presents significant challenges. UAS operators needed a way to be able to take advantage of any accessible source of power; such as solar cells, car batteries, vehicle power outlets, or single-use batteries.

The SkyRanger R60 from Aeryon Defense is the standard-setting Group 1 VTOL sUAS for real-time, secure, aerial intelligence across a wide range of mission-critical applications for professional end-users. R60s are currently deployed with over 20 militaries worldwide, and in use with public safety and industrial operators in over 30 countries.

Working closely with Aeryon, we developed lightweight, high-performing adapters that enable an operator to rapidly charge SkyRanger R60 batteries in the field using the SPM-622 (Squad Power Manager), or ABC-812 (Adaptive Battery Charger). And thanks to our bi-directional, plug-and-play technology, R60 batteries can also be used as a rechargeable power source for other electronic equipment – helping to improve energy flexibility while also reducing a unit’s battery burden.

For further information about our UAV and UGV field charging solutions, visit www.PTXnomad.com or contact the Team.Room@Protonex.com.

Widget Wednesday:  Prolonged Field Care

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

When it comes to traumatic injury, the speed at which the casualty receives medical treatment equals the likelihood of their survival. This is of course stating the obvious, but, as theaters of operation reduce their infrastructure, CASEVAC and MEDEVAC resources become more limited and this requires field medical personnel to be able sustain patients for longer until they can be transported to the next echelon of care. This is a situation that Special Operations Medics are particularly aware of as they are often deployed into remote areas well beyond the reach of established infrastructure – SOF medics often need to sustain and treat their patients for hours or even days until they can be evacuated.

Prolonged Field Care (PFC) is the ability to sustain patients for an extended period of time in field conditions and requires equipment that has usually been reserved for hospitals and dedicated MEDEVAC platforms. Fortunately, recent advancements in medical technologies has made it possible for critical equipment to become smaller and more lightweight, meaning medics in the field can now provide care in situ that before was only possible on board of MEDEVAC aircraft or field hospital. However, all of these devices also require power, and they typically only run 2-4 hours before their internal batteries require an AC power outlet to recharge.

Working with end users, Protonex has developed the capability to power the most commonly used portable medical devices in austere locations. A unit equipped with an SPM-622 can share power to keep patient-critical medical equipment operating for as long as it takes to get the casualty to the next level of care. Using solar power, 12-28V military vehicle and aircraft power outlets, civilian vehicle or lantern batteries, common rechargeable batteries like the BB-2590, or from extra radio batteries like the AN/PRC-148 and AN/PRC-152, the SPM-622 Squad Power Manager makes the delivery of Prolonged Field Care possible for anyone in harm’s way.

Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us through www.PTXnomad.com or Teamroom@Protonex.com or +1-508-508-9960.

Widget Wednesday:  Power on-the-go

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

Many Special Operations units today are making increased use of LTATV’s and other agile off-road vehicles that enable rapid ground mobility and support with a smaller logistics footprint.

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This increased agility and flexibility comes at some cost though.  Such vehicles are usually not equipped with line-of-sight radios, mesh networks, or other C4I capabilities that are often included on larger standard platforms.

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Many of the smaller, more agile vehicles also don’t have mil-standard power output ports either. This creates challenges for units that want to have the ability to charge batteries, power equipment and maintain constant operability of critical electronics – on the move and off-the-grid.  Fortunately, PTX power management systems have the built-in flexibility, adaptability and ruggedness to address these capability gaps.

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We have helped many Special Operations units use their SPM-622 kits as a universal power hub for on-board equipment, on-the-go battery charger, and to provide additional operational capabilities while using ATV’s and other mobility platforms.

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SPM kits have also proven their utility as an on-board power hub for field-assembled C4I networks, using the vehicle’s cigarette plug or battery contacts as the power interface. The VPM-402 Vest Power Manager also delivers this same flexibility and adaptability for individual ‘man-worn’ systems, and the rugged ABC-812 can provide the same degree of bilk-charging capability out in the middle of nowhere that it delivers back at the FOB.

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Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us through www.PTXnomad.com or Teamroom@Protonex.com or +1-508-508-9960.

Widget Wednesday:  Universal Power for EOD Teams

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

The PTX Universal Power Kits, based around the SPM-622 Squad Power Manager, dramatically reduces the weight and clutter of batteries, chargers and power adapters for EOD teams.

The EOD Universal Power Kit includes an SPM-622 Squad Power Manager as well as accessories that support the Minehound® and other metal detectors, DeWalt® and Snap-On® tool batteries, the MMX X-Ray viewer, the Micro Tactical Ground Robot, the Smart Ray Vision (SRV) system, and other EOD-specific equipment.

Each Universal Power Kit also includes a foldable solar blanket and the cables and accessories for charging batteries and “scavenging” power from military and civilian trucks, car batteries, and the local AC grid. The kits are delivered as a rugged “roll kit” to keep gear organized and ready for use, while decreasing volume and weight.

The original SPM EOD kit was developed in partnership with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Naval Sea Systems Command (NavSea) and Navy EOD Training & Evaluation Team Two in 2014. They reported a reduction in battery charger equipment weight from 45-lbs. to 9-lbs.!  This 5x reduction in weight also came with a significant improvement in the amount of space taken up in their vehicles by the old gear!

Hundreds of these units have since been proven in-theater with US Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and international EOD teams.

Visit the PTX team this week at ADS Warrior East, booth #103 (Protonex Technology Corp.) to learn more.

For information about the different applications that PTX systems support, visit www.PTXnomad.com

Ballard Subsidiary Protonex Receives Further $1M Power Manager Order for US Army

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA and SOUTHBOROUGH, MA, USA – Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) today announced that the Company’s subsidiary, Protonex, has received a further $1 million order for the supply of SPM-622 Squad Power Manager Kits to support U.S. Army brigades that are being deployed overseas.

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“The U.S. Army’s focus on providing power management solutions for deployed forces shows how ‘power’ has become just as important as water, food and ammunition in the modern operating environment” said Ray Summers, Protonex Director of Military Sales. He continued, “Having an SPM-622 Squad Power Manager Kit is like having a multi-tool for power in your rucksack. With such a system, troops can easily scavenge power from any DC source to keep their batteries and devices constantly operational – no matter where they are.”

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The PTX SPM-622 Squad Power Manager intelligently manages energy between batteries and electronic equipment. It works as an intelligent power harvester and scavenger, an automatic voltage converter, a universal power hub, and it’s safe and easy-to-use.  It is also robust and waterproof to support missions in harsh environments with extreme temperatures and no infrastructure.

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The Squad Power Manager has proven itself as a mission-essential tactical tool because it reduces a units’ battery burden, while increasing up-time and operational effectiveness.  The SPM-622 supports a wide range electronic systems, including solutions for; Medical / Prolonged Field Care; Explosive Ordinance Demolition; Unmanned Air and Ground Systems; HF / UHF Radios and SATCOM Terminals; Recon, Surveillance and Targeting; Smartphones, Tablets and Computers; and more…

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The PTX SPM-622 Squad Power Manager system is manufactured Protonex’s facility in Southborough, Massachusetts. The PTX series of Power Management Systems are in operation with United States, NATO, and Other Partner Nations forces around the world.

For further information about PTX Power Management Solutions from Protonex, go to www.PTXnomad.com.  If you’re attending Warrior East on the 11th and 12th of July, visit the PTX crew at Booth # 103.

Widget Wednesday: Using Solar Power

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Last time we looked at ways that troops can harness power from vehicles either while on the move or stationary. There may be times though when a vehicle or vehicle battery isn’t available, or when the tactical situation requires noise discipline that prevents running a vehicle engine.

Besides the audible signature, a running engine also produces a significant thermal signature – and it requires fuel of course as well. Using a field generator also incurs these same drawbacks, as well as the fact that it needs to be transported out to the location in the first place.

To get around all of these drawbacks the military has been a leading accelerator of portable solar power solutions. Solar power is free, plentiful, and safe and easy-to-use. Because of all this, a lightweight, folding solar blanket is included with every Nett Warrior system, and all PTX power management kits also include a solar blanket as a standard item as well.

There are nonetheless a few techniques and procedures to bear in mind. First; when connecting a solar blanket to the SPM-622 Squad Power Manager, make sure to plug it into Port #3 or #4 (a sun burst icon is printed on the case next to those ports for extra clarity); then connect a rechargeable battery to Port #1, #2, #5 or #6.  On the PTX VPM-402 Vest Power Manager, the solar blanket is connected to Port “S” and the rechargeable battery to Port “B”.

Why does a battery need to be connected as well? Because the sun’s power constantly varies but phones, radios, and laptops require steady power, the Power Manager requires a battery in order to “even out” the power generated by the solar blanket. The best battery to use is one that you would want to keep charged anyway – such as a BB-2590 or a Conformal Wearable Battery.

Furthermore; a solar blanket or panel only works in direct sunlight, even a slight amount of shade (or passing clouds) can severely limit the amount of energy the solar blanket can produce. Try to aim the blanket directly at the sun, or to drape the blanket over something to get the best angle on the sun. When the solar blanket is generating at peak output the PTX Power Manager will automatically divert any excess energy to keep the battery charged. If the power output from the solar blanket dips, the Power Manager will automatically pull power from the battery as needed.

Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us through www.PTXnomad.com or Teamroom@Protonex.com or +1-508-508-9960.

Widget Wednesday – Power Scavenging

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Seventy-four years ago the province of Normandy France erupted as the greatest airborne, amphibious, and special operations campaign in history was launched. Heavily-armed, and carrying as much ammo as they could stand up with, “Little Groups of Paratroopers” (and Commandos) swarmed over the beaches and countryside. Taking out lines of communication and holding strategic locations, they spread the “fog of war” and created havoc and confusion behind enemy lines – tying down enemy armored units that otherwise could have succeeded in pushing the invasion back into the English Channel. The ultimate victory they ensured came at a heavy price, and with a fair amount of havoc and confusion on the friendly side as well.

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Fast forward to the conflicts of today and we have made great strides in developing technologies that penetrate The Fog of War. But this capability has also come with the added weight penalty of lots of batteries – what we call ‘The Battery Burden’.

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Finding ways to reduce the number, variety, and weight of batteries that troops have to carry has been a multi-faceted effort across different Services and industry partners. Replacing non-rechargeable batteries with rechargeable ones has helped; replacing heavy, bulky standard batteries with slimmer, lighter, flexible Conformal Batteries has helped; and replacing up to 35 pounds of battery weight with a couple of pounds of Power Management Kit has helped tremendously as well.

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An SPM-622 Squad Power Manager and a few cables is like having a multi-tool for power in your rucksack. With such a system, troops can “scavenge” power from vehicle batteries or power-out ports and from solar panels or blankets to recharge their batteries anywhere. Our rugged ABC-812 Adaptive Battery Charger and pocket-sized VPM-402 Vest Power Manager also have a scavenger mode as well. Having this power-scavenger ability gives small units flexibility, logistical independence, and increased operational effectiveness.

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The PTX range of vehicle power scavenging solutions include the following:
• NATO Slave Connector – 12V to 33.5V at 10A charge and discharge
• ‘Cigarette Plug’ – 10V to 14.4V at 5A charge and discharge
• Alligator battery clips – 6V to 55V at 20A discharge

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An important fail-safe measure is also pre-programmed into the system – when scavenging power from a vehicle battery with the engine switched off, the system monitors the battery’s state of charge and will automatically shut off before it’s drained beyond its capacity to restart the vehicle.

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For further information about our full range of power management solutions, visit www.PTXnomad.com or contact the Team.Room@Protonex.comand see us next week at Eurosatory with our French allies PROCOMM-MMC, on booth B697 in Hall 5A.