Custom Lithium-ion Smart Batteries for UAS, Power Management Systems, Fleet Management Software, Solar MPPT Integration

Exploring Advanced Battery Solutions for Unmanned Aerial Systems

Packet Digital, a key player in the unmanned aerial systems field, sits down with UST to discuss smart batteries, the COTS Badland Batteries 12S, and plans to open North Dakota’s first battery cell plant By Sarah Simpson / 12 Jun 2024
UST Interviews Packet Digital: Exploring Advanced Battery Solutions for Unmanned Aerial Systems
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Renowned for its innovative power management solutions, North Dakota-based Packet Digital develops high-performance batteries that not only extend flight durations, but also ensure safe and reliable operation over extended periods. UST talks to CEO Terri Zimmerman about the benefits of proactive battery replacement, predictive analysis of battery health, and Lockheed Martin’s use of a Packet Digital battery system for the Indago 4 drone.

What challenges do Packet Digital power management products solve within the unmanned sector that make them so popular?

Packet Digital works closely with its customers to understand their requirements and goals for their unmanned aerial systems. We then develop high-performance batteries that extend flight times, even with increased payloads, and offer simple, safe and reliable operation over a longer timeframe. The UAS industry is always seeking to push the boundaries of flight time and payload capacity. These are inherently linked together and Packet Digital has a proven track record of improving our customers’ products in both domains.

Can you outline the key advantages of Packet Digital’s battery management software for businesses operating within the uncrewed industry?

What separates Packet Digital from our competitors is our use of smart batteries. We pair circuitry with battery cells that integrate seamlessly with our battery management software. The software allows users to view, control, and monitor batteries and chargers from one centralized app.

Battery profiles are created using the software and all data is uploaded to the user’s account for record keeping — allowing for proactive battery replacement and predictive analysis of battery health. By using this software, users encounter fewer surprises with their batteries and less time with valuable aircraft sitting idle on the ground.

What sets Packet Digital’s first off-the-shelf battery, the Badland 12S apart when it comes to choosing a battery for unmanned applications?

Badland-12S - Lithium-ion batteries for UAS

At Packet Digital, we’ve spent years custom designing batteries for our customers. With that we’ve gained more than a decades-worth of experience knowing how to build high-performing batteries. So we decided to use that knowledge and offer an off-the-shelf option for our customers: the Badland Batteries 12S. This battery, which is designed, tested and assembled all in North Dakota, is an industry leader with high-energy density, high performance, safety and reliability.

Do you have any real-world examples of Packet Digital solutions being used within unmanned technologies that you can share with our readers?

We have a wide range of customers that are using our products, whether it be a battery system, multiple power point tracker, or solar integration. One of our closest partners is Lockheed Martin, which uses our battery system for its Indago 4 drone.

When they first contacted us to develop batteries for this particular drone platform, they were looking for long-endurance batteries that they could rely on for long periods of time. A chief engineer with Lockheed reported back to us that after using our batteries for six months, it had gone through 1,000 cycles and had only 11% degradation. He said it was 10 times better than anything they had ever seen.

Are there any new areas that you are looking to move into, outside of your current range of products, in 2024 and beyond?

We are always looking to push the boundaries of the UAS industry and what we can provide for our customers. Recently, we significantly expanded our manufacturing facilities and added the ability to assemble printed circuit boards in-house. This allows us to ensure that more of the manufacturing process is completed right here in the United States.

On that same note, we have plans to create North Dakota’s first battery cell plant with a projected opening of 2025. The industry is demanding a fully American-made product in order to remove the reliance on foreign suppliers, and Packet Digital will be delivering just what they need, from our factories in Fargo, ND, USA.

Thank you so much for talking with us today, it’s been really interesting and we’re excited to witness the development of North Dakota’s first battery cell plant.

To learn more, contact Packet Digital: Visit Website Send Message View Supplier Profile
Posted by Sarah Simpson Specialising in digital copy Sarah is an experienced copywriter and researcher. Working with Unmanned Systems Technology Sarah has developed a passion for sourcing unique digital content and a talent for writing about the latest technical innovations in the unmanned sector. Connect & Contact