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UM, General Atomics to Collaborate on Unmanned Submarine Technology

The University of Mississippi and General Atomics are working together to develop new technology for unmanned underwater vehicles. The joint effort is based at UM’s Insight Park. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications
The University of Mississippi and General Atomics are beginning an on-campus collaborative effort focusing on acoustic sensing and navigation technologies for unmanned underwater vehicles to aid Department of Defense operations in deep-sea areas.
GA Electromagnetic Systems Group will occupy offices on the UM campus at Insight Park beginning Nov. 1. The Insight Park facility will help GA-EMS strengthen the relationship established with UM and its National Center for Physical Acoustics to facilitate the investigation of acoustic-based techniques for navigation and control of unmanned underwater systems.
The collaboration ultimately will likely involve not just the NCPA, but other campus groups as well, said Josh Gladden, UM interim vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs.
“We are so pleased to have General Atomics plug into the university community through Insight Park,” Gladden said. “Over the course of the past year, we have identified multiple research groups on campus that could partner with GA-EMS to help find solutions for modern needs of the Department of Defense.
“I’m sure as our partnership continues to strengthen, both GA and UM will find this a mutually beneficial relationship.”
GA-EMS has a history of collaboration with universities to advance acoustic and infrasound technologies. This partnership is a natural one, said William Nicholas, Insight Park’s assistant director.
“Our location provides GA-EMS with close proximity to the National Center for Physical Acoustics and other key schools, colleges and centers at the University of Mississippi,” Nicholas said. “We are especially excited to provide our students with opportunities to intern with such an innovative company.”
Officials with the company look forward to being on-site at UM to continue researching and developing critical technologies designed for real-world applications, said Hank Rinehart, business lead for surveillance and sensor systems at GA-EMS.
“The broad spectrum of talent at Ole Miss and the focus on engineering disciplines is a great match for GA-EMS,” Rinehart said. “We are excited to work with students and faculty in an environment that not only advances game-changing technologies, but also fosters community growth and entrepreneurship.”
GA-EMS will initially occupy approximately 1,800 square feet of office space and laboratory for general electronic and mechanical systems and subsystems development, testing and prototyping. It is expected to expand operations to 3,500 square feet within the first half of 2018.
The company also has extensive manufacturing facilities in Tupelo and Iuka.
About General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems
General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group is a global leader in the research, design and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems. GA-EMS’ history of research, development and technology innovation has led to an expanding portfolio of specialized products and integrated system solutions supporting aviation, space systems and satellites, missile defense, power and energy, and processing and monitoring applications for critical defense, industrial and commercial customers worldwide.


By Michael Newsom
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