Archer Aviation, a prominent player in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has announced a groundbreaking Space Act Agreement with NASA. This collaboration, initially focusing on high-performance battery cells and safety testing, aims to drive progress in Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and potentially in space applications.
Critical Focus on Battery Technology
The partnership's first project will involve in-depth study and testing of Archer's battery cell and system design. NASA's involvement is pivotal, as it aims to evaluate and share results that could benefit the entire AAM industry. This research is expected to play a crucial role in the mass production and widespread adoption of electric aviation, marking a significant step forward in maturing the supply chain for electric aircraft in the United States and globally.
Archer’s Commitment to Safe, High-Performance Batteries
Archer is dedicated to developing a high-performing battery pack for its Midnight electric air taxi. This initiative underscores the company's commitment to ensuring that these cells are not only suitable for aerospace applications, including eVTOL and electric conventional take off and landing (eCTOL) aircraft but also have potential uses in space.
Adam Goldstein, Archer’s Founder and CEO, stated,
“We’re extremely proud to partner with NASA, who has pioneered the eVTOL industry over the last 3+ decades, in support of our collective mission to ensure U.S. leadership in aerospace continues for decades to come.”
He emphasized the importance of collaboration between government and industry to maintain the U.S.'s global leadership position in the evolving era of aviation technology.
Advanced Testing and Proven Safety
The collaboration will utilize the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), one of the world’s most sophisticated high-speed X-ray facilities, to conduct safety, energy, and power performance tests on the battery cells under extreme conditions. Archer’s choice of a cylindrical cell form factor, which boasts a solid track record in safety, performance, and scalability, is seen as a strategic decision to ensure reliability in various applications, including in millions of electric vehicles worldwide.
AAM’s Potential Societal Impact
Advanced Air Mobility is poised to transform urban and rural living, enhancing mobility, expanding cargo and logistics options, and fostering economic and social growth. The collaboration between Archer and NASA is a vital step towards realizing these benefits, focusing on the development of batteries and electric motors specifically designed for electric aircraft.