Innovative Small Form Factor Auxiliary Power Units

NCMS Project #: 142044

Problem: The proliferation of new on-board technologies deemed necessary for effective operations in current and future combat environments is increasing the maintenance and sustainment cost of legacy ground vehicles, watercraft, and airborne platforms.  Each new on-board technology introduced to a platform reduces available payload capacity and increases the need for additional power.  This directly impacts operational performance and is exceeding the ability of traditional power sources, such as alternators and batteries to effectively meet the growing power demands. 

Benefit: The proposed APU will deliver a scalable power solution that can reveal the effectiveness of efficient variable power on demand with load balancing capabilities across combined AC and DC outputs that will be beneficial when field maintenance is necessary.  Discoveries and knowledge gained during the project assessments can be extended and further examined to provide a roadmap for subsequent development by other maintenance organizations facing similar challenges.

Solution/Approach: Small innovative auxiliary power units (APUs) that utilize alternative engine architectures and high efficiency power generation systems with advanced diagnostics can be an effective tool in countering the negative effects that new onboard technologies can have on legacy vehicles, watercraft, and airborne platforms.  The overall objective is to demonstrate a small innovative APU based on a set of requirements that is not vehicle specific that can then be used to evaluate its effectiveness as a secondary power source on both legacy and new vehicles.  

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Extend capability and lifecycle of legacy platforms 
  • Reduce APU size and weight  
  • Improve quality and reliability of power delivered 
  • Maximize initial investments reducing need for additional capital expenditures 
  • Lowers waste and disposal cost
  • Increase warfighter lethality 

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army, Program Executive Office, Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS)
  • U.S. Army, Program Executive Office, Combat Support & Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS)
  • U.S. Marine Corps

Industry Participation:

  • Ricardo Defense, Incorporated
  • BlueSky Innovations
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Energy efficiency
  • Durability
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement