Jan 23, 2024
Archer Aviation Inc. (NYSE: ACHR), a leader in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, today announced it has signed a Space Act Agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The collaboration will kick off with an initial project focused on studying high-performance battery cells and safety testing targeted for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and space applications.
Archer believes that while the supply chain for electric vehicles in the U.S. is maturing, the supply chain for electric aircraft remains nascent not just here in the U.S., but globally, so this testing will help push progress forward. NASA’s goal is to test Archer’s battery cell and system design and share the results to push the entire AAM industry forward. Maturing battery technology is anticipated to be a key enabling factor for the mass production and adoption of electric aviation.
Archer plans to deliver a high-performing battery pack with leading levels of safety to its Midnight electric air taxi, validating that these cells are tailor made for aerospace applications, including electric vertical take off and landing (eVTOL), electric conventional take off and landing (eCTOL) aircraft and potential usage in space.
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“We’re extremely proud to partner with NASA, who has pioneered the eVTOL industry over the last 3+ decades, in support of our collective mission to ensure U.S. leadership in aerospace continues for decades to come,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s Founder and CEO. “Many countries around the world are challenging the U.S. in this new era of flight and our country is at risk of losing its global leadership position unless we work together, government and industry, to ensure we seize the moment and pioneer this new era of aviation technology, which stands to benefit all Americans.”
As part of the joint efforts around battery characterization, NASA and Archer will focus on further testing the safety, energy and power performance capabilities of the battery cells. Tests will be performed using one of the most advanced high speed X-ray facilities in the world, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), to understand how the cells function during extreme abuse cases. Archer has chosen these cells to power the proprietary electric powertrain system Archer has designed, developed and is beginning to mass manufacture for its production electric air taxi, Midnight. The battery cell form factor chosen by Archer, a cylindrical cell, has a track record of safety, performance and scalability proven through decades of volume manufacturing, deployed across many applications globally, including in millions of electric vehicles.
AAM promises to provide substantial public benefits to our communities, including transforming how urban and rural communities live and commute by maximizing mobility, bolstering cargo and logistics options, and creating pathways to manufacturing jobs and other ladders of social and economic opportunity. Core to unlocking this potential is designing, developing, and mass producing batteries and electric motors that are purpose built for electric aircraft.