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silver-zinc battery technology used in the Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) for the Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) Missile. The ITAS is an advanced fire control system that guides the TOW weapon systems to their targets. It is comprised of day/night sight with laser range finder target acquisition and fire control subsystem. The battery is one part of this integrated system, responsible for providing power for silent watch and long-range surveillance in a
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  silver-zinc battery technology used in the Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) for the Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) Missile. The ITAS is an advanced fire control system that guides the TOW weapon systems to their targets. It is comprised of day/night sight with laser range finder target acquisition and fire control subsystem. The battery is one part of this integrated system, responsible for providing power for silent watch and long-range surveillance in all battlefield conditions. Lessons learned from the field lead to new advancements in battery system technology  Lithium-ion Batteries for Military UPS Applications  Introduction With military equipment, weapons, vehicles, and other systems becoming more sophisticated, there comes a greater demand for power to support the operation of these systems. Just as batteries for cell phones and computers have to be lighter, longer lasting, more robust and safer, the same is true for batteries that power the equipment used in military and defense. Soldiers require light weight, safe, and reliable batteries for their portable equipment, while vehicles strive to reduce their fuel consumption, relying on the battery to not only propel the vehicle but also perform silent watch missions. Meanwhile, weapon systems demands vary from requiring enough power to fire a laser, to having enough energy to perform all day in the field. Given the power and energy demands of the modern military, having uninterruptable power supplies that are reliable and safe are of paramount importance. The Need for a UPS An uninterruptable power supply (UPS) is crucial for military applications, where mission success depends on the continuous performance of the equipment. The main purpose of a UPS is to provide back-up power when the main power source fails or becomes unavailable. With the mobile nature of defense systems, it is important to have a portable power supply with stored energy readily available, typically through a battery. Examples of military applications where a UPS is used include back-up power for a control station, and stored energy for use in powering portable equipment such as radios, GPS, and weapons. When used in the tough environmental conditions that military equipment is often deployed, the UPS needs to meet very specific and complex demands, often requiring a custom solution. Additionally, as military equipment evolves and becomes more sophisticated, the energy storage system must also evolve to meet the performance demands of the application it is powering. This is when the battery becomes less of a commodity and more of an integral part of the system it is powering. Saft has a long heritage of supplying a wide range of batteries for military and defense applications, from small portable batteries powering soldier radios and handheld devices, to large, complex systems powering vehicles and weapon systems. Saft has been able to utilize this experience along with key developments in electrochemistry to adequately define the needs of the application, and not only provide a solution, but evolve the technology to serve the needs of new applications as well. The following case study demonstrates how one custom battery for a specific application has sprouted additional products capable of serving a variety of military UPS needs. The ITAS Battery Program The US Army’s ITAS program demonstrates the need for an evolved, customized UPS for the battlefield. In 2000, the Army decided to investigate a new battery technology to replace the legacy The ITAS system mounted to a HMMWV (above); The ITAS system on a tripod with Saft 28V LBB connected (below).  The previously installed silver-zinc battery had a number of drawbacks, including handling hazardous chemicals required to activate the battery; waiting 3 days for the battery to activate; frequent re-charging; long re-charge time; and short life cycle (6 to 9 months for the life of the battery). With this much time spent maintaining the battery and money spent on replacements, the Army needed to find a new technology that would reduce maintenance and life cycle costs, while also being safe for the end user, robust enough for tough environmental conditions, and meeting the energy demands of the ITAS system. The Army turned to Saft for a solution. The Li-ion Advantage  Lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology provided by Saft proved to be a promising solution for a number of reasons. A key advantage is that Li-ion technology has a higher power to weight ratio than any other battery chemistry. A lighter weight battery often means a lighter and smaller system that runs more efficiently. Another important distinction between Li-ion and the legacy ITAS battery is that Li-ion has a longer cycle life, meaning it does not have to be recharged as often, achieving 16 hours of continuous operation. In addition, Li-ion has the ability to be charged rapidly, achieving 80% charge in about three hours. Perhaps the most significant factor driving the change is Li-ion’s life cycle (how long the battery lasts over time) is longer than silver-zinc, with 80% capacity after 1,200 cycles of charging and discharging the battery. Although the long-term benefits of Li-ion technology over the legacy battery technology are clear, there was one key factor that could not be ignored: cost. Li-ion, for all of its advantages, was more expensive up front than silver-zinc. Once the technology had been demonstrated and proven in the system, it became apparent that the overall savings in replacement batteries (1.33 times per year for silver zinc vs. less than .33 times for Li-ion, translating to a 303% improvement), the bigger up front cost proved to outweigh the cost for replacement, not to mention lost time for activating the battery and waiting up to 16 hours for the battery to re-charge following use. Performance Beyond Expectations Saft’s 28V Lithium Battery Box (LBB) for the ITAS was deployed in 2004, with more than 3,000 delivered to date, and has proven its superior performance. Initially projected to last between three and five years depending on usage, the battery has been shown in some cases to last seven years. This type of performance is noteworthy, especially given the harsh environmental conditions the battery has had to withstand, being used primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan where temperatures can be extreme. For example, the box can be operated even when wearing arctic gloves for cold environments, like the mountains in Afghanistan. The battery is capable of operating between -32°C to +55°C, is waterproof, and is operational at up to 50,000 ft. while having the capability to withstand extreme shock and vibration. Battery Technology Details The LBB is supplied as a complete pack, to plug-and-go, and provides a nominal 100 amp/hours capacity at +21°C. The high energy VL 52E cells, arranged in a 2p8s configuration, are housed in a robust, pressure compensated box with carry handles, Saft’s 28V Lithium Battery Box (LBB) 2  burst prevention mechanism and keyed connectors. Aside from the convenience, dependability and versatility of the battery, of paramount importance to the war fighter is safety. The LBB incorporates sophisticated on-board electronics to ensure enhanced battery performance and current protection as well as providing thermal and safety management systems. Its built-in safety features include overcharge/over discharge protection and pressure compensated housing. The battery packs are supported by a special software package developed for use with the battery pack that enables it to interface with a PC to provide a direct readout of the battery condition. This enables the operators to run a suite of health checks on key criteria such as individual cell voltages, enabling accurate assessment of the battery health. This provides the user with added confidence and peace of mind. Technology Evolution Building on the technology of the LBB and its performance in the field, Saft developed two new products for military UPS applications: the Integrated Charger Battery (ICB) and the Advanced Lithium Power Source (ALPS). Both products use the same external housing as the ITAS battery with the addition of a built-in charger which enables the system to perform completely autonomously, eliminating the need for additional equipment for charging and simplifying the logistical use of the battery in the field. The most important advantage of these two products, aside from the proven performance of the parent LBB system for the ITAS, is that by using the same technology and design principles, Saft has significantly reduced the overall cost of the new systems. Integrated Charger Battery The ICB was developed and deployed for a tactical field UPS program. Like the LBB, this 28V high energy battery has a capacity of 100 amp/hours and is made up of 16 VL 52E cells in a 2p8s configuration. It also includes sophisticated control and management electronics similar to the ITAS battery. One difference between the ICB and the LBB is the form factor; the ICB is a rack-mount design which is better suited for equipment installation rather than portability. The role of the ICB in the application for which it was initially developed is to provide emergency back-up power for a flight critical function of an UAV ground control station. In the event of a power failure, the battery will activate thereby allowing the station to carry out its control mission. The ALPS Battery Following the same general electrical characteristics as the LBB and the ICB batteries, the ALPS is also a 28V, 100 amp/hour system consisting of high energy VL 52E cells, but with a 2p7s cell configuration. This battery runs at lower voltage to allow for more efficient charging from a vehicle or DC power source. The ALPS is designed to take energy from a 24-28V DC or 110-220V AC source to replenish the battery. The ICB battery, on the other hand, can only accept AC charging from a wall socket or any alternating current power. The simple integration of the ALPS makes it compatible with a wide range of applications. For example, it can connect to a 28V nominal MIL ground vehicle bus and uses the bus voltage to determine when to charge only when the engine is operational. With this ability to charge from a DC power source in the field, it can recharge directly from a vehicle in transit, a solar panel, wind generator or tactical generator to store up to 2.5 kWh of energy. Adding to the flexibility of this system, its light-weight design makes it ideal for man-portable applications. Evolved Technology, Lower Costs The success of the LBB for the ITAS program in providing a cost-effective solution for a military UPS application has demonstrated the benefits of adapting proven technology into new systems for similar UPS applications with CharacteristicsProduct Voltage Capacity  Cell ConfigurationIntegrated Charger?Charge  Acceptance Form Factor LBB 28V100 Ah2p8sNoN/AMan-Portable ICB28V100 Ah2p8sYesACRack MountALPS 28V100 Ah2p7sYesAC/DCMan-Portable Saft’s Integrated Charger Battery (ICB)Saft’s Advanced Lithium Power Source (ALPS) 3  varying needs. The primary advantage of this evolution is first and foremost, cost savings. The development costs associated with the ICB and ALPS batteries was significantly lower due to previously established design and engineering. Another advantage is quicker time to fielding, since the technology has already been tested and proven in similar applications, and because the parts used in manufacturing are readily available. Finally, development from a proven, robust system foundation provides peace-of-mind to the customer and/or end user; knowing that the power supply is has been demonstrated as safe and reliable time and again is a significant benefit, especially when failure of a power source could be detrimental to the mission.All of Saft’s 28V battery solutions for military UPS are being integrated on systems and fielded. These solutions are ready for customers without the need for further development. For more information, contact: SaftDefenseUS@saftbatteries.com   About Saft Saft (Euronext: Saft) is a world leader in the design and manufacture of advanced technology batteries for industry. The Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of nickel batteries and primary lithium batteries for the industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation, civil and military electronics’ markets. Saft is the world leader in space and defense batteries with its Li-ion technologies which are also being deployed in the energy storage, transportation and telecommunication markets. Saft’s 4,000 employees present in 19 countries, its 16 manufacturing sites and extensive sales network all contribute to accelerating the Group’s growth for the future.For more information, visit Saft at www.saftbatteries.com Saft  107 Beaver Ct.Cockeysville, MD 21030Tel.: +1 (410) 771-3200Fax: +1 (410) 771-1144www.saftbatteries.com
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