Georgia Tech pairs with firm to build military jetpack

VAN NUYS, Calif. JetPack Aviation (JPA) -- a technology company that demonstrated its initial progress with a public jetpack flight around the Statue of Liberty in 2015 -- has entered into a development agreement with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) to design and build a soldier vertical mobility system (SVMS) for military applications.

Under the agreement, JPA has begun initial work with the U.S. Navy under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to provide its proprietary jetpack technology, while Georgia Tech will contribute advanced electronic subsystems for the new SVMS. Working under a grant from the Georgia Tech Research Institute, the early development stage of the SVMS project has focused on three specific subsystems: an autonomous control system, a pilot exoskeleton, and a heads-up display (HUD) helmet for the pilot.

The joint SVMS team aims to move the project forward by soliciting R&D funds from the U.S. and by accepting additional JPA investors. With additional funding, the team says, JPA and Georgia Tech will be able to fully integrate the described subsystems into an SVMS and solve issues such as survivability and reliability, electrical and mechanical infrastructure, and human factor disciplines.

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