MIAMI, Dec. 7 — Florida International University, a component of the state university system, issued the following news release: City Labs, Inc., a company that got its start at FIU, has been awarded a contract for nearly $1 million by the United States Air Force Research Laboratory for its long-life NanoTritium batteries.
With broad potential for applications in sensitive military electronic platforms, City Labs’ batteries could reside in aircraft, computers, sensors, radar systems and unmanned aerial vehicles, often referred to as drones.
“We are pleased and proud that the United States Air Force Research Laboratory has selected City Labs and our unique technology to satisfy its highly sophisticated demands and specifications,” said Co-founder and CEO of City Labs Peter Cabauy ’96, who graduated from FIU with a bachelor’s in physics. “As the Department of Defense continues its mission to stay on the technological edge, we look forward to establishing additional partnerships and customizing our unique technology for the wide range of applications where it is needed.” As tested and confirmed by Lockheed Martin, the City Labs battery is resistant to extreme temperature variance (-50 degrees C to +150 degrees C), as well as extreme vibration and altitude. The City Labs’ batteries have a projected life of 20+ years. Tritium is the most benign of radioactive isotopes and is a technology already used as an illumination source for Exit signs commonly found in schools, theatres, commercial buildings and commercial aircraft.
“City Labs, Inc. is the first of what is hoped to eventually be many companies to be incubated at FIU,” said FIU College of Arts & Sciences Dean Kenneth G. Furton. “Dr. Cabauy is a graduate of FIU, and I expect his company’s breakthrough will soon employ local talent and will stand as a beacon for upcoming student entrepreneurs who aspire to meld their FIU educations with business opportunities in South Florida.” City Labs is backed in part by Alienware co-founder Alex Aguila. City Labs’ Tritium batteries enable applications where battery replacement is difficult or impossible, and a source of continuous nanowatt/microwatt power for 20 years or more is crucial. Applications include intelligence-gathering sensors, medical implants, space satellite and probe power sources, trickle charging lithium batteries, semi-passive and active RFIDs (radio frequency identification), subsea sensors and buoys, wireless dust mote networks and field sensors, smart munitions, memory backup and lower power processors.