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Archer Aviation Collaborates with NASA to Validate Safety of High-Performance Battery Cells for Advanced Air Mobility

by Anna

California-based Archer Aviation is partnering with NASA to evaluate the safety of its high-performance lithium-ion battery cells designed for advanced air mobility and space applications. The collaboration aims to validate the technology for NASA’s mission-critical electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Archer’s batteries have already been deployed in its air taxi, Midnight, designed to carry four passengers and a pilot. The partnership with NASA involves advanced safety testing to secure Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, expected in late 2024.

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Archer’s lithium-ion battery cells utilize a cylindrical cell form factor, demonstrating a proven track record for safety, performance, and scalability in production. The partnership with NASA will include testing the battery cells’ safety, energy, and power performance under extreme conditions using the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in France, which provides advanced high-speed X-rays.

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The Midnight aircraft, powered by Archer’s battery technology, can travel up to 150 miles per hour with a range of about 100 miles. It features six independent 800 V battery packs, powering a diagonal set of 12 forward and aft electric engines. This design allows flights to continue even if part of the propulsion system fails or one of the battery packs loses power.

Archer’s battery cells have a capacity of 142 kWh, providing 1,300 kW of maximum power and a 10-minute charge time for the average mission. The company aims to achieve FAA certification for Midnight later this year, marking a significant step toward the adoption of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft for advanced air mobility applications.

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