Zulu Pods, Inc. (ZPI) has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the Department of the Navy. The objective of the project is to develop new and innovative lubricating fluid supply/delivery system technologies for rolling element bearings in small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) engines and/or attributable/expendable weapon systems to replace current architectures – thereby reducing overall system weight, cost, complexity, and maintenance requirements/burden due to fluid leaks and lubricant shelf life during extended storage.
The Zulu Pod is the world’s first modular fluid delivery system that combines the function of a reservoir, pump, and nozzle into a single, self-contained, self-pressurized, and hermetically sealed packaged oil delivery system. The Zulu Pod is lighter, placed right in the working zone of the engine bearing or gear compartment, and meters the minimum amount of lubrication required for optimal performance. Zulu Pods can be used for primary lubrication on limited-life engines, backup lubrication during a loss of lubrication event, or supplemental lubrication to extend oil interruption capability.
The award will allow ZPI to continue development and subscale testing of their pod technology in tandem with small engine Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to support technology transitions and future commercialization within both the military and commercial small UAV markets.
Headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, ZPI is a company that is committed to providing high-quality, novel fluid delivery solutions that radically simplify mechanical systems architecture to reduce weight, cost, complexity, and improve performance. Their first patent was filed in December 2020. In August 2022, ZPI opened its vertically integrated R&D facility near UMASS Amherst.
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