Innovation Honoree

Sponsored by

Hydroplane Ltd is developing a bespoke hydrogen fuel cell carbon emission free powerplant for aviation and mobile energy storage.

Hydroplane has novel technology that will increase the specific power of the h2 fuel cell technology by > 30% and reduce its volume by >50%, enabling UAS, UAV, and AAM aircraft to be carbon emission free and have meaningful range, useful load, and endurance (overcoming the limitation of Li Ion batteries).

Their technology is scalable to eVTOL platforms for cargo and transport, and ultimately scalable to twin turboprop aircraft, enabling the decarbonization of regional air travel. Hydroplane is the only company on the market developing an aviation specific PEM fuel cell as we knew that a new technology was needed to mature the technology to ensure is was light weight, durable, and sufficiently modular to support a range of UAM/UAS/AAM platforms.

Hydroplane is women, minority founded and led by. Dr. Anita Sengupta, a globally renown former NASA aerospace engineer who led the development of the supersonic parachute that landed the NASA Curiosity Rover on Mars, the ion propulsion system that sent the NASA Dawn Spacecraft to the Main Asteroid Belt, the NASA Cold Atom Laboratory that created the first Bose Einstein Condensate on the International space station, and a former SVP at Virgin Hyperloop where she led the development of a ground based transport system to decarbonize long distance transport.

Switching UAM, AAM, general aviation, and regional aviation to from hydrocarbons to hydrogen fuel cell technology will literally decarbonize aviation, as the fuel cell powerplant only outputs water. Hydroplane’s powerplant will revolutionize aviation from quad copters, to helicopters, to fixed wing propeller drive aircraft, making them all emission free.

Dr. Anita Sengupta

Drones for Good Honoree

Sponsored by

The Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) was established in 2001 to foster uncrewed systems being effectively used by formal emergency management agencies through voluntary national and international activities, making it the oldest institution dedicated to uncrewed systems technology for public safety.

The Center promotes, trains, documents, analyzes, and disseminates scientific knowledge. Since 2001, our trained volunteers from Texas A&M and the University of South Florida and partners have assisted incident command at over 30 disasters, including building collapses, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, marine mass casualty events, nuclear accidents, tsunamis, underground mine explosions, and volcanic eruptions in 5 countries.

Overall, CRASAR has had 22 drone deployments or assists in the US, Italy, and Japan to federally declared disasters or their equivalent: 10 hurricanes, 4 floods, 2 building collapses, 1 nuclear accident, 1 landslide, 1 tornado, 1 wildland fire, 1 earthquake, 1 volcanic eruption.  The 22 doesn’t count numerous times CRASAR has assisted in pre-disaster mitigation of flooding. The center’s latest deployment was Hurricane Ian (2022).

CRASAR has developed and taught classes in robotics for emergency response and public safety for over 1,000 members of 30 agencies from seven countries. In addition, CRASAR provides just-in-time training and materials, and hosts training workshops. Team members routinely present at the National Hurricane Conference and the annual meeting of the International Association of Emergency Managers. CRASAR has also participated in numerous full-scale exercises.

CRASAR also conducts field studies and translative research and development in unmanned systems for the prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery from critical incidents and collects, archives, curates, analyzes, and shares data about the use of unmanned systems and related technologies. CRASAR has conducted research under four National Science Foundation RAPID grants and its datasets are used by the academic community.

Dr. Robin Murphy

Laura Hart

Rayne Hawkins

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