May 6, 2005 Electric power requirements are going up for both soldiers and facilities in theatre of war situations, as the military is using sophisticated electronic technologies for sensing, surveillance, communications, search and destroy, and survival on the battlefield. Today's soldiers are being weighed down, though, by the batteries that drive these devices. They are required to carry a daily supply of primary batteries, but limited power capacity and the continual need for re-supply can limit the mobility, range and mission length required for effective field operations. Since rechargeable batteries can alleviate the soldiers' burden and the extensive logistics support to maintain the battery supply, the US Army now favours their use wherever possible, and recharging those batteries in the field is a priority. Konarka Technologies, a developer of power plastics that convert light to energy, this week signed a US$1.6 million contract with the United States Army to provide light-activated plastic power supply to soldier systems and Army support infrastructure.
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