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BNL, Stony Brook eye military battery work

 The Long Island institutions have proposed forming a partnership with the Department of Defense, offering the expertise of local scientists to develop energy-storage systems to meet the increasingly high-tech needs of today's military.

"Our war fighters are in need of cutting-edge energy solutions, and right now the Department of Defense is lacking," said Sen. Charles Schumer, who with fellow Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, is pushing the Senate Committee on Armed Services to support the proposal.

The lab and university issued a joint statement that they look forward to exploring the proposal with the defense department and appreciate Schumer and Gillibrand's support.

Energy storage has become crucial for the military as troops depend on a widening array of communication devices, computers and other technology on the front line. A 2011 defense department report found the average soldier carries about 50 batteries, weighing nearly 18 pounds. That number, officials said, is expected to grow.

Stony Brook and the lab's goal is to develop lighter, longer-lasting batteries that could be scaled up or down for equipment of all sizes. They must withstand extreme temperatures, from the Arctic to the tropics, and be durable enough to survive the rigors of battle.

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