Ultra-lightweight fuel system technology for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

Aero Tec Laboratories designs and manufactures custom shaped fuel bladders to any shape and size for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles used in military and civil applications

Leading the world for fuel system technology innovation, ATL is proud to supply reliable, durable and cost effective bladders and fluid containment solutions for fixed wing and rotorcraft unmanned aerial vehicles. Systems range from those with ultimate performance utilising ATL ultra-lightweight materials, to those requiring specific aviation standards. 

Due to the ever increasing drive for maximum efficiency and operation time, ATL bladder technology has played a significant role in the fast growing unmanned system arena. ATL has over 20 years’ experience in unmanned systems working with extremely high profile companies such as NASA, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Turkish Aerospace, Vestel and Leonardo to name but a few.

ATL produces flexible fuel bladder tanks for varying types of UAVs and projectiles such as missiles. These tough, lightweight flexible tanks resist petroleum, diesel, avgas and JP fuels including JP-10 and JP-TS. In addition to this, ATL has the facilities to manufacture bladders to hold hydrogen, propane and alcohol fuels. Installations can be designed as fully vented systems, or as non-vented collapsible “liners”.

As with all ATL fuel systems, the latest CAD software and proprietary ATL technology and techniques are used to design and create a system for any requirement, utilising our experience gained across multiple decades and thousands of individual projects.

Due to the unique opportunities that unmanned systems offer, it is possible to create almost unbelievably light fuel bladders which will enhance the performance of any platform. Such ultra-lightweight bladders are often so well received that once the technology has been included in an airframe, it is quickly adopted by our partners across their full vehicle range.

Continuing to lead the way in cutting-edge design and technology, ATL has introduced a material for use in aviation projects which has been tailored to meet the rigorous standards of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for Flexible Fuel and Oil Cell Materials. This material is available to manufacturers that seek to add manned aviation safety standards to their vehicles, particularly those designed to fly over populated areas.

ATL UAV fuel cells can be resistant to the following fuels:

  • Aviation Fuels: Avgas, Mogas, JP4, 5, 8, 10; Jet A, B; Kerosene
  • Standard Fuels: Bio-Ethanol E10, Diesel, Bio-Diesel, Bio-Butanol B10 and Bio-Jet• Standard Fuels: Bio-Ethanol E10, Diesel, Bio-Diesel, Bio-Butanol B10 and Bio-Jet
  • Specialist Rocket/Missile Fuels: hydrogen peroxide, hydrazine, Otto Fuel II, HAN fuel, JP-7, methanol, nitromethane, propane, butane

The key properties of ATL's UAV Fuel Cell design and manufacturing capabilities are:

  • Available in virtually any size or geometry
  • Ultra-lightweight and thin-walled for greater fuel capacity and performance
  • Full fuel volume scavenging technology and capabilities
  • Safety foam baffling for anti-slosh and explosion mitigation
  • Fully collapsible for easy installation/removal
  • Low fuel diffusion rate; can surpass Mil-DTL-6396F
  • Immune to shock, impact, vibration, launching, retrieval and hard landings
  • Operates at altitudes of up to 60,000 ft.
  • Operates within a temperature range of -50°C (-60°F) to 95°C (200°F)
  • Modest cost, long life, low-to-zero maintenance
  • Precision machined lightweight parts
  • Fuel level measuring systems
  • Lightweight filler caps