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Wave Motion Launch Corp, based in Everett, Washington, has been awarded a $1.6 million contract from the U.S. Army to further develop its Jet Gun technology. The Jet Gun concept involves using a jet of supersonic gas to propel a projectile to high speeds. This system is unique in that it does not require a physical structure or barrel surrounding the projectile, making it up to 100 times more compact than traditional rockets or cannons. Additionally, this launcher can handle projectiles of various sizes, giving it an advantage in environments where specific caliber ammunition may not be readily available.

Wave Motion will be collaborating with the Army’s DEVCOM Armaments Center to prototype and test a version of the Jet Gun for use in tactical indirect fire applications. The contract was awarded as a Direct to Phase II grant under the Army’s Small Business Innovative Research program after Wave Motion emerged as a winner in the xTech Pacific competition. The three founders of Wave Motion, Finn van Donkelaar, James Penna, and Casey Dunn, are University of Washington alumni who established the startup four years ago. Van Donkelaar holds the patent for the Jet Gun system, while Penna serves as the COO.

The recent funding from the Army will be used to expand Wave Motion’s team and manufacturing capabilities in support of the new contract. The startup also received a $1.3 million award for Jet Gun development from the Office of Naval Research in 2022. Wave Motion is currently focused on developing an advanced version of the Jet Gun that utilizes solid entrained particles to create longer jets, allowing projectiles to accelerate even further within the launcher system. The company plans to prototype this ‘solid jet gun’ for space launch applications to demonstrate its potential for various military, space, and industrial uses such as mining and drilling.

The Jet Gun technology developed by Wave Motion has shown promise in successfully accelerating projectiles to high speeds with its innovative design. By eliminating the need for a physical barrel surrounding the projectile, the system offers increased compactness and flexibility, making it suitable for various applications where traditional launch systems may not be feasible. The startup’s continued success in securing contracts from various branches of the military highlights the potential and interest in the Jet Gun technology for future defense and space exploration initiatives.

In addition to military applications, Wave Motion is exploring the use of the Jet Gun technology in industrial sectors such as mining and drilling. The ability to launch projectiles with high precision and speed could revolutionize these industries by increasing efficiency and reducing costs. The startup’s focus on developing a more advanced version of the Jet Gun for space launch applications demonstrates the versatility and adaptability of the technology across different sectors, showcasing its potential for widespread adoption in the future. Wave Motion’s commitment to innovation and collaboration with government agencies and industry partners positions them as a key player in the development of cutting-edge launch technologies.

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