Wave Motion wins $1.3 million to work on jet-gun launcher for US Navy

Casey Dunn, Finn van Donkelaar and James Penna show off Wave Motion Launch’s Big Iron demonstration jet-gun launcher. (Wave Motion Photo)

It in Everett, Wash. established Wave Motion Launch Corp. has received $1.3 million to support the company’s efforts to develop barrelless launch vehicle technology that could eventually be used to send payloads into space.

Wave Motion was selected for project funding from the US Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division through the Naval Surface Technology and Innovation Consortium. NSTIC provides federally funded research and business opportunities related to innovation in marine surface technology, with a focus on emerging enterprises.

Financing will run through the end of 2023 — and if Wave Motion’s jet-gun technology turns out, the company could be selected for follow-up awards.

Wave Motion is the brainchild of three University of Washington alumni: Finn van Donkelaar, James Penna and Casey Dunn. The two-year-old company was one of the award winners in UW CoMotion’s I-Corps program in 2020. Van Donkelaar is CEO of Wave Motion and holds the patent for the jet-gun system. Penna is the Chief Operating Officer and Dunn has served as Chief Financial Officer.

The jet-gun concept involves firing a jet of supersonic gas to push a projectile to very high velocities. Because there’s no physical structure or barrel around the projectile, Wave Motion says the system has the potential to be up to 100 times more compact than a rocket or regular cannon of equivalent power.

“Rocket launches usually cost thousands of dollars per pound of payload,” Wave Motion says on its website. “Instead of the high price rockets charge, our jet gun can launch payloads for $100 [per pound]†

The team has already conducted a series of tests with an early prototype nicknamed ‘Big Iron’ and is working on a hypersonic prototype jet-gun called ‘Hi-Ho, Silver’.

In Tuesday’s announcement of the US Navy award, Wave Motion said it would use some of its funding to partner with UW’s Autonomous Controls Lab on a method of controlling the vehicles launched by the jet-gun while they make their way through the atmosphere and into space.

This post Wave Motion wins $1.3 million to work on jet-gun launcher for US Navy

was original published at “https://www.geekwire.com/2022/wave-motion-wins-1-3m-award-to-work-on-prototype-jet-gun-launcher-for-u-s-navy/”