The project is a joint venture between NRL's Chemistry and Tactical Electronic Warfare Divisions and Protonex Technology Corporation. The flight was conducted with L-3 - BAI Aerosystems at their Ragged Island facility on Maryland's Eastern Shore under weather conditions of 65 degrees F, moderate winds, and light rain at takeoff.
The 100-watt fuel cell system was designed and constructed at NRL largely using commercially available hardware and a fuel cell stack and components developed by Protonex. The "Spider-Lion" UAS was developed by NRL as a high-impact research platform for testing fuel cell technology. Research and development continues aimed at developing a fuel cell system capable of powering small military platforms currently in the field or in advanced development stages requiring extended operation that is not achievable using current battery technology.