High capacity COTS and custom engineered battery packs for large industrial drones. Designed and built in the UK to the very highest standards.
Drones are becoming increasingly common place across a range of sectors. Whether used for visual inspection of infrastructure such as wind turbines, surveying buried historical sites, spraying crops or filming stunning broadcast footage, the applications are seemingly endless. This new breed of large industrial drones provide huge challenges for the battery systems that power them. Often with as many as 12 rotors and a multitude of onboard systems, these machines are power hungry and require high energy rechargeable battery packs to provide the necessary power.
UAVs also play an increasing role in the defence and security sectors. These vehicles often have very different power requirements but compact, high power, highly reliable power systems remain paramount to the effective operation of these platforms.
Deciding upon the most suitable power system for a specific drone is complex and there are many considerations to take into account, such as, capacity, voltage, physical size, weight and rate of discharge. Depending on the purpose of the drone, other factors may need to be considered such as tolerance to vibration, moisture and dust, as well as extremes of temperature.
In stark contrast to many other battery powered applications, should a fault be detected by the Battery Management System (BMS) the battery pack must not fully shut down immediately, but rather continue to provide limited power to enable the UAV to navigate to a controlled landing in a safe location. In addition, due to the airborne nature of a drone and therefor in line with all other aircraft within the aerospace industry, there must be potential for built-in redundancy. It is often the case that UAVs will also house primary (single use) battery packs for back-up safety functionality.
Our engineers are well versed in such challenging requirements, and have enormous experience and expertise in designing battery packs that provide the best combination of performance factors for a given application and environment.
As one of the UK’s leading battery pack manufacturers, Steatite has a track record of engineering battery packs to power complex and demanding applications in some of the most hostile environments on earth. Our expertise extends across the entire manufacturing process from initial design to control electronics and enclosures. Steatite’s in-house engineering expertise is fully utilised in the design and manufacture of complex power systems for UAVs.
We partner with leading cell manufacturers covering all main cell chemistries, enabling us to provide the correct cell based on our customers specific requirements. This is particularly important with aerial vehicles because their uses, and therefore power requirements, are so diverse. Whether designed to carry payload over short distances or for surveillance such as High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAVs, the power demands will be very different.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), like many other autonomous vehicle systems can be very power hungry, but unlike surface vehicles, weight is a fundamentally limiting factor in determining how much power can be provided by the on-board battery packs. This makes UAV power systems particularly complex, but designing and assembling lightweight, high power battery packs is an area where we have exceptional experience and expertise. The following gives an indication of our extensive in-house design capabilities.
• Dedicated fuel gauge engineering.
• Firmware development (STMicro STM32 based).
• Hardware design expertise in power circuit design.
• Cold temperature operation management (light weight heater and insulation).
• Small footprint (memory) CAN Bus implementation with PC GUI.
• PC based CAN GUI for debug and firmware updates.
• High current PCB design 8-10 layers of 2-oz copper.
• High power interconnect system design using copper-clad weld tabs.
• Vast experience in ruggedised composite material enclosure design.
UAV Capability - Power Business Unit
Cell and Configuration
Battery Management System
Design and Manufacture
Certification and Accreditation
Up to 12S
Cradle to Grave Design
Tier 1 Li Ion Cells
Altium / Solidworks
Direct Supply Polymer Cells
High Current PCB Design
Full Case Design
UN38.3 Certification Management
Ultra Lightweight Case Material
IEC Certification Management
Cell Holder Design
Multi-Channel EOL Testing
Cyber Essentials Certified Plus
Additional Capability Options
In House 3D Printing
Cold batteries are inefficient and at best will provide limited run time, at worst they will fail to operate correctly at all. To overcome the problems associated with cold operation we custom design heaters that are capable of heating core battery packs from -20°C to +5°C in less than 20 minutes.
These Mylar based thermo foil heaters have uniform heat output and exceptional heat transfer properties resulting in superior pack heating. Each is custom designed for the specific requirements of the battery pack and features a number of specific attributes including embedded temperature sensors (thermistors).
Our design and engineering capabilities, coupled with decades of complex custom build battery pack experience enables us to provide a complete solution to our UAV customers.
From the initial choice of most suitable cells for a given application to the final enclosure design and use of the latest rugged composite materials our engineering teams are at the forefront of battery pack design.
With large state-of-the-art design and production facilities in the UK and the USA utilising the very latest equipment and processes, our customers can be assured that their custom power system will be of the utmost quality and work seamlessly within their product.
Check out our whitepaper on selecting the right technology for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) application.
When it comes to complex autonomous vehicles such as UAVs, Steatite is astonishingly well positioned to provide many of the elements required for reliable operation. In addition to highly reliable battery packs we are able to supply cutting edge communication systems such as high performance antennas, high bandwidth radio datalink systems, and powerful fanless computing and positioning systems, all designed to provide flawless operation in the harshest of environments.
To compare the features of our Harrier AF-Zoom cameras and Oriole board cameras and see which one will best suit you, download our “Cameras for UAVs and Gimbals” brochure.