CHARLOTTE – Honeywell International Inc., a multinational conglomerate, has acquired assets from privately held Ballard Unmanned Systems as it grows its unmanned aerial systems business.

Ballard Unmanned Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southborough, Mass.-based Ballard Power Systems Inc., designs and produces stored-hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems that power unmanned aerial systems (UAS) such as those used for energy inspection, cargo delivery, and other commercial and defense applications.

“Adding Ballard Unmanned Systems to the Honeywell family is another example of our commitment to invest in the growing UAS segment,” Mike Madsen, president and CEO at Honeywell Aerospace, said in the release. “We can now begin producing top-quality, scalable power systems for our UAS customers and eventually adapt these systems for other future aerospace, defense and adjacent segment applications.”

According to the release, fuel cells “function much like traditional batteries but with a key difference: They don’t run out of power or need to be recharged.” Ballard Unmanned Systems’ fuel cell power systems can run up to three times longer than batteries, the release noted. What’s more, UAS powered by fuel cells “can fly longer distances, are quiet and have zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

As part of the deal, Honeywell will own intellectual property, inventory and equipment. The fuel-cell team will also join the company as part of the acquisition.

Honeywell intends to introduce a family of fuel cell power systems for various UAS vehicles. Honeywell is also collaborating with Ballard Power Systems on broader aviation applications.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, and there is no change to Honeywell’s third-quarter 2020 outlook due to the acquisition.

The full release is available here.

This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism