Better than Mr. Fusion

A 25-Year Battery

Batteries that harvest energy from the nuclear decay of isotopes can produce very low levels of current and last for decades without needing to be replaced. A new version of the batteries, called betavoltaics, is being developed by an Ithaca, NY-based company and tested by Lockheed Martin. The batteries could potentially power electrical circuits that protect military planes and missiles from tampering by destroying information stored in the systems, or by sending out a warning signal to a military center. The batteries are expected to last for 25 years.

The anti-tamper systems are to prevent someone who gets their hands on equipment from being able to determine its inner workings to defeat or reverse-engineer it.

Battery technology is a major roadblock, and not only for the military.

Of course, if the military suddenly had batteries that were ten times as powerful and one-tenth the size of current batteries, it wouldn’t be “Gee, look how much less our troops have to carry.” It would be, “Gee, I can carry all this new gear now plus four extra mags.”

Via Instapundit.

Comments

  1. The Greens will have an effing coronary over a battery that contains radioactive material.

    Never mind that it’s a millimeter-scale sliver of material impregnated with the tritium. It’s gonna be about the Man trying to put a WMD in everyone’s tv remote or some such.

  2. Keep in mind these batteries don’t deliver a whole lot of power, however microprocessors these days can run on fairly small amounts of power too – at least if they don’t need to do a whole lot – so they’re still useful.

  3. I remember they tore out all the smoke detecters in my college dorm because they used a pinhead of radioactive polonium. When asked what danger the polonium posed, the college administration said we might rip open the smoke detecters and eat the polonium.

    Well, now that you’ve given us the idea, sure.

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