Surely, this is one with which we can all relate: a lighter, longer-lasting power supply type for our increasingly mobile gadgetry. That's the intended focus of a new $1.7 million research contract awarded to ultracapacitor developer Maxwell Technologies by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (aka DARPA).
The deal will involve the U.S. Navy and the University of Massachusetts, which are teaming with Maxwell on developing an energy storage technology or device that combines an advanced capacitor module, an advanced battery pack and power management electronics. The goal is to replace the bulky batteries the military has to carry today to charge up field radios and other mobile technologies used in the field -- some of which can weigh up to 60 pounds. That's a lot of push-ups, people. I wouldn't want to be lugging that around.
There are two additional optional phases involved in the project, which could result in a total funding of up to $8 million for this research.
Even if you're not in the military, there's definitely a need for more research in technologies that will help mobile devices manage power more efficiently and hold a charge longer. Our existing options are pretty woeful.