XRDi has identified, as its core business, the development of Multiple Fuel Engines (MFE) through the application of proprietary technology that allows for light-weight, fuel efficient, low emission propulsion systems. Heretofore, the Company has realized income primarily from research and development activities, consulting contracts and fees associated with the licensing of its technology. Over the last seven years, the company has been developing a family of MFE engines designed to meet the current needs of the UAS business sector, both military and commercial. Consequently, these models were developed based on input from both the Department of Defense and the private UAS sector relative to the volume, pricing, timing and profitability of engine sales.
The Company’s near-term strategic focus has been to develop MFE engines for tactical UAS, UGV and APU’s. Engines have also been developed for both the STUAS Tier II and Tier I (MAV) platforms. There is a critical need for lightweight, heavy-fuel, robust engines given that there are no readably identifiable engines in the 35 and lower horsepower range. The MCDI technology actually scales best from 5 hp up to 150 hp since other heavy fuel alternatives exist above this range. There is a critical need for lightweight, heavy-fuel engines for Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UVG) which could derive from the current “family of engines”. The UVG systems are also focused on developing hybrid engine solutions to address endurance and noise concerns. These regenerative electrical systems need small, lightweight, heavy-fuel engines for re-energizing thereby providing extended mission capability while operating silently on battery power. Additionally, the current “family of engines” offers significant potential for meeting the requirement for lightweight, man-portable generators in the 2kw-7kw range.
Outside of the current product line, MCDI technology has significant applicability in marine outboard propulsion. The Company has been contacted on numerous occasions by SOCOM and others relative to developing heavy-fuel capable outboard engines. Other opportunities that present themselves include pursuing the Company’s patented Side Valve technology which was developed by Professor Gordon Blair with a view to reducing manufacturing costs for four stroke engines, as well as allowing for a more efficient geometry and ease of integration.
There are significant advantages to the “family of engines” concept that are readably identifiable, but somewhat difficult to quantify. The interchangeability of parts between engines reduces manufacturing costs, allows parts inventorying to be significantly scaled down, and allows for cross-over training and maintenance.
In summary, there is no question as to the critical need for the solutions that XRDi can provide. The paradigm shift to UAS/UAG for both military and commercial applications continues to grow exponentially. The “one fuel forward” mandate will continue to steer the market to the solutions provided by XRDi. UAS/UVG tactical systems must seek heavy fuel propulsion solutions with robust, fuel efficient attributes, but they must also be lightweight, and that’s where the challenge exists. For XRDi, this challenge has presented a tremendous opportunity.
XRDi’s strategic and competitive advantages uniquely position the Company to capitalize on the opportunities presented given its proven technology and its “bolt-on” capability, coupled with its ability to scale and interchange within the “family of engines”.