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Army Steps Toward Universal Battery Charger

UBC1The Army took another step toward fielding a universal battery charger as officials asked for more information from industry in preparation of issuing a formal Request for Proposals.

The Army's research arms have worked to develop a light weight universal battery charger as part of the effort to lighten soldier's loads and also support the growing demand for individual power on the battlefield.

Officials expect the battery charger to be deployed at a "squad or platoon level for use in remote locations where there is no commercial power grid or reliable power generation infrastructure," according to the Army announcement.

"Therefore it is extremely critical that the UBC must be of minimal weight and volume, survive use in a tactical environment (i.e. pass MIL-STD 810 tests) and be able to charge batteries using alternative and/or renewable energy sources along with standard AC and platform DC power sources," according to the announcement.

The charger will be no more than 6 pounds and smaller than a shoebox, according to the Army.

The conformal wearable battery is part of the system that the Army is working on to provide power to soldiers. This new battery would be flexible and allow the soldier to wear it in in pack without taking up as much space as the traditional rectangular batteries.

The conformal battery is part of the Soldier Wearable Integrated Power System, or SWIPES. This system integrates the charging of radios, GPS, and smartphones, according to the Army.

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