Archer Aviation and NASA Sign Space Act Agreement

An Archer Aviation eVTOL aircraft in flight.
Photo Credit: Archer Aviation
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read

Archer Aviation Inc. (NYSE: ACHR), a leader in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, today announced it has signed a Space Act Agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The collaboration will kick off with an initial project focused on studying high-performance battery cells and safety testing targeted for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and space applications.

Advancing Electric Aircraft Supply Chains


This latest partnering marks a further key step in the development of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, with an initial project aimed at studying high-performance battery cells and safety testing tailored for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and space applications.

Archer recognizes that while the supply chain for electric vehicles in the U.S. is maturing, the supply chain for electric aircraft remains in its early stages globally.

To propel progress in this sector, Archer and NASA are embarking on a journey to test high-performance battery cells. This collaboration is poised to play a crucial role in advancing the entire AAM industry.

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Archer Aviation Midnight evTOL aircraft parked on the flightline.
Photo Credit: Archer Aviation

Battery Cell & System Design


NASA’s goal in this collaboration is clear: to rigorously test Archer’s battery cell and system design and share the results, contributing to the advancement of electric aviation.

As the industry evolves, maturing battery technology emerges as a key factor enabling mass production and widespread adoption of electric aircraft.

Archer has set its sights on delivering a high-performing battery pack with industry-leading safety features for its Midnight electric air taxi.

This not only validates the cells for aerospace applications but also extends their potential usage to electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL), electric conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) aircraft, and even space exploration.

Expressing pride in this collaboration, Adam Goldstein, Archer’s Founder and CEO, highlights NASA’s pioneering role in the eVTOL industry over the past three decades.

Goldstein emphasizes the importance of collaboration between government and industry to secure U.S. leadership in aerospace for the foreseeable future.

The Archer Aviation Midnight eVTOL aircraft on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Archer Aviation

Meeting Challenges Head-On


Acknowledging the global competition in the new era of flight, Goldstein emphasizes the need for a united effort to pioneer this aviation revolution.

The collaboration between Archer and NASA stands as a testament to the commitment to ensuring the U.S. maintains its leadership position in the evolving landscape of aviation technology.

Battery Characterization


As part of the joint efforts, NASA and Archer will delve into battery characterization, focusing on safety, energy, and power performance capabilities.

Advanced testing will take place at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), utilizing one of the world’s most sophisticated high-speed X-ray facilities. This aims to understand how the cells function under extreme abuse cases, ensuring they meet the rigorous safety standards required for aerospace applications.

Cylindrical Cells for Safety and Scalability


Archer’s choice of a cylindrical cell form factor for its battery cells stems from a proven track record of safety, performance, and scalability.

With decades of successful volume manufacturing and deployment across various applications globally, including millions of electric vehicles, this form factor ensures reliability in powering Archer’s electric air taxi, Midnight.

Conclusion


Archer is designing and developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for use in urban air mobility networks. Its stated mission is to unlock the skies, freeing everyone to reimagine how they move and spend time.

The collaboration between Archer and NASA holds the promise of substantial public benefits through Advanced Air Mobility (AAM).

This includes transforming urban and rural communities by maximizing mobility, enhancing cargo and logistics options, and creating pathways to manufacturing jobs and other avenues of social and economic opportunity.

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Archer Aviation will collaborate with NASA under a Space Act Agreement to develop eVTOL technologies including high performance battery cells.
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