Logos Technologies LLC has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for further development of the SilentHawk military motorcycle the company is producing in partnership with California’s Alta Motors (formerly BRD), according to a Logos news release. The Phase II award follows the Phase I SBIR award Logos received in February 2014 to develop a design for the motorcycle. Phase II will develop the design into a prototype following a rigorous testing process.
The motorcycle can be powered by the hybrid power system, which can run on a variety of fuels, or on an all-electric motor. The hybrid-electric unit can be attached or detached in the field in 30 minutes, allowing field swapping from an electric-only version to a hybrid-electric version.
“Quiet, all-wheel drive capability at extended range in a lightweight, rugged, single-track vehicle would support … successful operations in extreme terrain conditions and contested environments,” said Wade Pulliam, manager of advanced concepts for Logos Technologies. “This award enables us to continue to execute a fast-paced development effort that takes advantage of our team’s prior work, superior technical approach, and extensive experience.”
The intent is to create a stealthy, high performance, all-wheel drive motorcycle that would provide all-terrain transportation for special operations forces. The prototype being developed will combine Alta Motor’s existing RedShift MX electric motocross bike with a quiet, multi-fueled hybrid-electric power system previously developed for a separate unmanned aerial vehicle program by Logos Technologies. The motorcycle can be powered by the hybrid power system, which can run on a variety of fuels, or on an all-electric motor. The hybrid-electric unit can be attached or detached in the field in 30 minutes, allowing field swapping from an electric-only version to a hybrid-electric version.
During the Phase I award period, which began in February 2014, Logos and Alta conducted extensive testing on Alta’s RedShift MX electric motorcycle. The partners tested the RedShift MX over a range of terrains and riding conditions to better understand what would be required in an off-road military motorcycle. Logos then demonstrated the suitability of its hybrid-electric system to meeting the off-road power requirements of the motorcycle, and the partners demonstrated a preliminary design. The Logos-Alta team plans to develop and test the first operational prototype of the SilentHawk in only 18 months.
“An innovative design approach, including a unique field-swappable power system concept, will allow unprecedented customizability of the bike while still meeting and exceeding the government’s challenging requirements,” added Pulliam. “We also believe that the system resulting from this second phase of the program would have applicability to other ground vehicle systems beyond motorcycles.”