COSTA MESA, CA /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Irvine Sensors Corp. announced that it is developing a proprietary microelectromechanical system device usable for portable power-generating units that could replace batteries. Dubbed the Microcombuster power supply by Irvine Sensors, the heart of the system under development is a miniature internal combustion device that burns lighter fluid or other common combustibles and is reusable. The Microcombuster is projected to have significantly greater energy density than lithium-ion batteries in a comparable size and form factor. The Irvine Sensors development program is focused on potential military applications and is supported by various government agencies. With the increasing reliance on portable electronic equipment by modern military forces, battery supply and replacement is a major logistics and economic challenge. It is estimated that a U.S. soldier expends about one AA battery per hour in combat. In the government's fiscal 2003 and 2004 budget, approximately $425 million was spent on batteries for use by individual soldiers.
If development milestones are successfully achieved, Irvine Sensors expects to have pre-production prototypes of the Microcombuster suitable for military applications before the end of 2009. Deployment for military uses is expected to result in economics suitable for widespread commercial application.
John Carson, Irvine Sensors' CEO said, "Throw-away batteries are a major source of environmental waste and current reusable ones are inefficient. The Microcombuster addresses both of those concerns and puts us on the threshold of some major market opportunities."
About Irvine Sensors
Irvine Sensors Corp., headquartered in Costa Mesa, CA, is a vision systems company engaged in the development and sale of miniaturized infrared and electro-optical cameras, image processors, and stacked chip assemblies; the manufacture and sale of optical systems and equipment for military applications through its Optex subsidiary; and research and development related to high-density electronics, miniaturized sensors, optical interconnection technology, high-speed network security, image processing, and low-power analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for diverse systems applications.