News | Energies
Lithium battery cells produced by Liten, a CEA Tech institute, have passed a first round of tests on the road to qualification for the upcoming Ariane 6 satellite launch mission.
The Ariane satellite launcher is embarking
on increasingly long missions that require more energy than ever before,
creating the need for innovative new sources of power. And the task is a
complex one: when it comes to space missions, size and weight are crucial.
Liten is working with Airbus Defence & Space to tackle the problem under a
European Space Agency request for proposals. “We needed to find a technology
capable of delivering the very high power required for the launch phase and
able to operate at full capacity at temperatures from –20 °C to 70 °C,” said a
Liten’s team came up with a very recent
lithium-battery system that integrates a carbon monofluoride cathode and a
lithium-ion battery with silicon at the anode. The cathode and anode
technologies alone are capable of meeting the needs of four on-board
applications: thrust vector command, pyrotechnics, functional power supply, and
The chemical formulations the researchers
selected look very promising. Proof-of-concept and functional prototype testing
have been successful. “The temperature, aging, and vibration-resistance testing
carried out in Ariane 6 launch conditions produced good results. These tests
were carried out at cell-level. We extrapolated the results to pack-level and
the outcome looks just as promising.”
Liten’s battery could very well be on board
Ariane 6 in 2020. Stay tuned!
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.