AlumiFuel Power (AFPW) has handed over the upgraded portable balloon inflation system-2000 (PBIS-200) under contract to the US Air Force Special Operations Command (USAFSOC).
The delivery follows an undisclosed contract secured by the company in September 2012 for modification of the PBIS-200 prototype unit it delivered to the air force in late April 2012.
The system was, however, returned by the command for modification of 14 items to help enhance and upgrade the functionality and user-friendliness of the unit in the field, following on-site training with AFPW’s engineers at Hurlburt Field airbase in Florida, US.
AlumiFuel Power Technologies president and CEO David Cade said: ”The modifications clearly improved the operating functionality and capability of the system, and these changes will be incorporated in a more streamlined design for follow-on PBIS-2000 production units."
The modified system is scheduled to undergo further testing and deployment for field trials in an overseas environment, the expected site-of-operations.
Awarded in September 2011, the unspecified production contract covered the development and delivery of a prototype PBIS-200 system along with 360 cartridges, a spare parts kit, a tool kit, as well as two days of operational training to AFSOC.
Equipped with six AlumiFuel cartridges, the PBIS-2000 is a hydrogen lift-gas generator designed to provide AFSOC with the required amount of lift gas for launch of a 200g weather balloon and special instrumentation payload within 20 minutes.
The system possesses footprint, weight and safety features similar to that of the company’s PBIS-lite system, and is also capable of operating at ambient pressure and low temperatures, a quality superior to conventional K-cylinders.
AlumiFuel is currently expecting PBIS-2000 AlumiFuel cartridges production contracts from USAF and other potential customers across the globe.