Zeno Power Secures $7.5 Million From Pentagon for DEPTHS Project
Blue Origin Partner Selected for Deep Sea Radioisotope Power System
Seattle-based Zeno Power has been awarded a $7.5 million contract from the Department of Defense (DoD) to design and demonstrate a radioisotope power system capable of providing distributed power on the seabed.
The program, called Distributed Energy Provided Throughout the Seas (DEPTHS), aims to develop decentralized nodes for energy generation and distribution on the seafloor.
By 2025, Zeno Power plans to showcase the system's capabilities, which could revolutionize the deployment of long-endurance seafloor sensor systems and charging stations for autonomous undersea vehicles.
Funded through the Pentagon's Operational Energy Innovation Office and the Office of Naval Research, this initiative highlights the growing need for reliable and continuous power in maritime environments. "
The world's oceans are increasingly becoming hotbeds of international competition, and ubiquitous access to power in maritime environments is critical to maintaining U.S. leadership," said retired Navy Adm. John Richardson, former chief of naval operations and member of Zeno's advisory board
Zeno Power, with offices in Seattle and Washington, D.C., has partnered with Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space venture, headquartered in Kent, Wash., for this project. The collaboration brings together Zeno's expertise in radioisotope power systems and Blue Origin's ingenuity in aerospace technology.
Radioisotope power systems have a long history of application in both undersea and space environments. In the 1960s and '70s, the federal government utilized generators fueled by strontium-90 to power navigational buoys and undersea sensing equipment. Zeno Power recently announced the successful demonstration of its next-generation strontium-90 heat generator, showcasing the company's advancements in this field.
The DEPTHS program will enable Zeno Power to demonstrate a commercially developed radioisotope power system that can support critical sensing capabilities and other seabed applications for the Navy. This innovative solution promises to enhance the U.S. Navy's ability to monitor and gather data in the maritime domain, bolstering national security interests.
With the rapid advancements in technology, the development of decentralized power systems on the seafloor holds immense potential. By providing continuous and reliable energy to underwater infrastructure, Zeno Power's radioisotope power system could pave the way for a new era of autonomous undersea vehicles and long-endurance seafloor sensor systems.
By securing this contract, Zeno Power solidifies its position as a key player in the field of radioisotope power systems. With the support of the DoD and its partners, Zeno Power aims to revolutionize energy generation and distribution in maritime environments. The successful implementation of the DEPTHS program could have far-reaching implications for national security and scientific exploration, ensuring that the United States remains at the forefront of technological advancements in the maritime domain.