Archer Aviation has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to study high-performance battery cells and safety testing for the advanced air mobility (AAM) and space industries.
The electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft company is hoping to further development of the electric aircraft supply chain with the agreement, which will see the US space agency test Archer’s battery cell and system design.
Archer Founder and CEO Adam Goldstein said: “Many countries around the world are challenging the US in this new era of flight and our country is at risk of losing its global leadership position unless we work together, government and industry, to ensure we seize the moment and pioneer this new era of aviation technology, which stands to benefit all Americans.”
Testing by Archer and NASA will focus on safety and the energy and power performance of the batter cells with tests performed at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and their findings released to support the wider AAM industry.
Battery cell technology is being developed by Archer to power its Midnight electric air taxi aircraft which reached the flight testing stage for its prototype model, with the company conducting the first full-scale test of the vehicle in October last year.
Archer said it hopes the battery pack technology will be able to be tailor-made for other aerospace solutions such as electric conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) aircraft and some spacecraft.
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While seen by some as not a viable wide-ranging solution to the aviation industry’s sustainability problems, battery technology has been the focus of the growing eVTOL sector and also saw a breakthrough recently with the reveal of start-up Elysian’s design for its 90 passenger E9X aircraft.