Program Aims to Create Next-Gen Expeditionary Power for Soldiers on the Move
On October 15, the Army Applications Laboratory (AAL) announced its newest cohort opportunity — the Soldier Power Cohort — which will focus on developing the next generation of compact expeditionary power for Soldiers. Participating companies can earn up to $350,000 in non-dilutive funding to collaborate with end-users in the ultimate test-bed and prove their solutions work at scale for the US Army.
Designed for businesses that are developing off-grid, low-power solutions that can extend operational uptime without creating additional weight, the Soldier Power Cohort is an intense 8-week program to identify, explore, and develop technologies that can generate, store, manage, and distribute power to Soldiers on the move.
“Cutting-edge technology is a force multiplier for the Army, but with each new device that Soldiers are asked to carry comes more weight and the demand for more power,” said COL Jay Wisham, director of AAL. “These folks are out in the field for days at a time. They can’t afford to lose power when they need it most, but neither can they be asked to lug around more weight in the form of batteries. Soldiers and small units on the move need advanced energy and power solutions that can meet extended operational requirements without creating additional burdens.”
To help meet that need, AAL is looking for companies with innovative power generation and conversion, high-density energy storage, and intelligent power management technologies to join the Soldier Power Cohort. Created and managed by a contractor team from Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. (HII), the Cohort will bring together commercial and military experts, as well as Army customers, to explore how proposed solutions can be effectively deployed across the Army.
While consumer demand for on-the-go power has yet to emerge — and market fragmentation and massive investments in existing technologies mean advancements in battery life, recharging speed, and cordless charging are lagging — the Army represents an enormous total addressable market (TAM) for these types of solutions right now. The Army wants to use or augment its organic equipment and advance new technologies to meet dispersed and dismounted power needs while also lightening dismounted Soldier equipment loads, reducing resupply needs, and enhancing mobility. The ability to provide robust power, energy storage, and power resupply solutions to forward-deployed dismounted Soldiers and equipment will deliver greater agility and maneuverability to ensure increased autonomy in Army tactical and expeditionary activities. Both the learnings and the use cases from this opportunity can translate into commercialization of a military-grade technology product.
The Soldier Power Cohort is part of a larger AAL effort focused on Soldier-enabled technologies for expeditionary power. Companies interested in joining the Soldier Power Cohort can find more information on the opportunity at aal.army/cohort. The deadline to submit to join the Cohort is 11:59pm CT on November 16, 2021.
The Soldier Power Cohort is scheduled to start on January 24, 2022, and is currently expected to conclude with concept design presentations on March 18, 2022.