Blog Editor’s Note: We understand the UK government has invested a billion pounds in quantum tech and established four hubs.
It is not so clear what the U.S. government has done or is doing. The PNT Advisory Board had a presentation on quantum at its most recent meeting, but that was mostly a discussion of clocks.
We haven’t seen much about quantum PNT in the press, but found an article from Trajectory Magazine that was interesting. Its intro and a link to it are at the bottom of this post.
SBRI: Quantum-enabled positioning, navigation and timing systems
Organisations can apply for a share of £25m inclusive of VAT, to develop quantum-enabled systems for positioning, navigation, timing (PNT) and quantum-enabled sensing applications relating to navigation.
- Competition opens: Monday 13 February 2023
- Competition closes: Wednesday 12 April 2023 11:00am
Or sign in to continue an existing application.
This is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition funded by Innovate UK.
The aim of the competition is to deliver quantum-enabled systems for positioning, navigation and timing, and quantum-enabled sensors for navigation applications, such as magnetic or gravity field sensors.
This is a single phase competition for quantum-enabled systems and technologies already at an advanced stage of development.
Your proposal must be able to demonstrate a credible commercialisation and delivery plan. This competition is not suitable for feasibility studies.
In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process.
Any adoption and implementation of a solution from this competition would be subject to a separate, possibly competitive, procurement exercise. This competition does not cover the purchase of any solution.
This competition closes at 11am UK time on the date of the deadline.
Projects can range in size between £2 million and £7 million in total costs, inclusive of VAT.
After a 20-year run as the undisputed king of navigation, GPS may soon receive help from emerging quantum applications
When ambitious researchers tout quantum information science (QIS) as the driver of the next technological revolution, they’re usually referring to quantum computing as it applies to rapid data analysis and deciphering encryptions. But quantum’s first major disruption may actually come in the realm of positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT).
For two decades, American PNT has relied wholly on a constellation of 30 satellites known as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Using time and location signals from three GPS satellites, a receiver (such as a cellphone) can use tri-lateration to calculate a user’s exact location down to the meter. But terrain such as canyons, mountains, or dense vegetation can scatter GPS signals and disrupt location sharing between military field teams and command centers. Additionally, GPS is unavailable underground or when navigating within buildings. And adversaries are actively developing weaponized cyber and space systems to target American satellites and other space assets. As it exists, with no backup in place, even a partial GPS blackout could be devastating.
Because of these factors, the U.S. Defense Department is seeking alternative options to ensure military PNT continues to be resilient and reliable. Recent federal activity indicates QIS may play a major role in restructuring the DoD’s PNT capabilities from the single-solution environment of the past.