ZEUS UGV – Power Capability
|Mission duration is a critical factor and Zeus’ 2-4 hour mission duration delivers. You need to be confident that the battery will survive the mission and give you sufficient feedback to replace or recharge batteries before it is too late. A UGV stuck in an uncleared area gives 2 problems. Loss of remote capability and also having to send an operator to retrieve it.|
|You also need standard batteries that can be sourced locally. Specialist batteries, only available from the UGV manufacturer create a severe logistics problem. High cost, stock holding all add to the problem. Zeus uses the standard 2590 Lithium Ion format battery available form a number of manufacturers. You also don’t want multiple chargers due to different batteries for the UGV and the OCU. On Zeus, both the UGV and OCU use the same battery and therefore the same charger.|
|You need powerful lightweight batteries and lithium Ion currently offers the best power to weight ratio and availability. The charger supplied with Zeus can charge 2 batteries at the same time and can also carry out battery conditioning, crucial to good battery management. Local voltages present no problems as the charger can work at 220V/110V and 24V/12V.|
|Depending on the battery manufacturer, each battery has a 5 bar LCD display showing current battery capacity. This gives a quick visual reference. Batteries with the SMBUS interface will also send their battery data status to the OCU when installed in the UGV. Battery status of both the UGV and OCU are displayed on the OCU. Additional battery data such as number of recharges, serial number, manufacturer etc. is also available. This additional data is crucial for battery management programs, and allows you to go on task knowing that your batteries will not only recharge and hold their charge correctly but also will do it repeatedly.|
|Battery changeover is also very fast, in less than 2 minutes and does not require any tools. Battery changeover can be done quickly in the field, with no need to return to a controlled point. They are held externally, with no covers or access hatches to open. Once inserted, they form a watertight seal. Their low position in the chassis helps with stability as it keeps the centre of gravity low. There is also no cable snagging risk as the 2590 batteries are inserted directly into the UGV or OCU without using cables. Risk of disconnection, for example due to vibration, is eliminated due to their secured insertion method.|
|Should batteries become low during a mission, a warning is sent to the operator to bring the UGV back to a safe point. Once the warning is activated, Zeus can still travel at least 500m ensuring it can be brought back to a safe place to change the battery before communication is lost. The OCU has the same low battery warning system enabling the OCU battery to be changed at a convenient point during the mission rather than at a critical point.|
|Electrical protection is ensured through the batteries own electrical protection system protection and Zeus’ protection systems. This ensures that no electrical parts can fail due to electrical problems such as current surge.
If you need to power 3rd party equipment, Zeus has waterproof 12v and 24v on board power supplies ready to deliver the power you need.
|Safety is paramount and Zeus’ low operating voltage of 24V ensures this. A physical emergency stop is fitted to the UGV and it is also possible to send an emergency stop signal from the OCU to the UGV which will instantly immobilise the UGV by physically disconnecting the batteries. Cleaning and decontamination of batteries is simple due to their sealed design.|