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A small group of United States Army scientists have been at work developing a new lightweight and nearly invincible battery. The new batteries are expected to be deployed by the year 2024, however, Army officials have stated that soldier feedback will occur next year.
U.S. Army soldiers very often rely on battery powered electronics and technologies for their combat capabilities. Soldiers need their energy supply wherever they are in the world, in every climate, and in any condition. Because of this, the U.S. Army has tasked Dr. Cynthia Lundgren, an electrochemist and the Army’s Research Laboratory’s (ARL) Energy storage branch chief, to help develop a newer, better battery for U.S troops.
Lundgren and her team have engineered sheets of bendable, non-flammable , long-lasting, lithium-ion batteries. “We’re making a modernized power source that’s lighter, safer, and abuse tolerant,” Lundgren said. The team claims they have been making great progress, cutting a ten year development process to only a few years.
Although a quick development process is important, the team of scientists have stated that soldier safety is the top priority. For most soldiers, a battery is just another thing to worry about, as batteries tend to be potentially dangerous during military operations. But with the development of the new, lightweight, and durable battery, soldiers will have one less thing to worry about.
The new battery has been designed to be waterproof, flexible, and durable. The batteries have undergone ballistics tests while being placed underwater, with the US Army reports that every ballistic test has been successful.
“Even if water intrudes into the battery packaging, we’ve demonstrated that it will continue to optimally function while underwater,” said an ARL material scientist. “This gives it a significant advantage over current organic batteries.”
After the battery technology has been developed, the ARL scientists have enclosed the battery into a metal based, flexible sheet, that can be placed underwater and can be cut into shapes without harming the battery’s performance.
The team of scientists have shown pride in their work helping soldiers be best equipped for the future battlefield. With one teammate mentioning: “We want to push the boundaries of science that would benefit all mankind, but soldiers first.”