Revolutionizing sensing using quantum technologies

B. Young
AOSense, Inc.,
United States

Keywords: atom; geophysical exploration; gravity gradiometer; inertial; navigation; quantum sensor; quantum technology


Rapidly advancing capabilities of quantum sensing will soon revolutionize high-accuracy navigation and positioning, geophysical exploration, and remote sensing. Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) provide invaluable support for navigation and for the world’s telecommunications, power, and financial infrastructures. However, their susceptibilities to active and passive denial make them insufficient for numerous critical applications. Quantum-atomic metrology capitalizes on the intrinsic calibration and well-characterized interactions of atoms, which feature stable transition frequencies, environmental isolation, and precise initialization, control, and readout of the atomic state. Quantum-atomic sensors have achieved stellar performance in static, laboratory environments. The operation of exquisitely sensitive quantum devices on moving platforms introduces engineering hurdles that we are actively addressing to transition quantum technologies from laboratory to field environments. Soon, quantum-atomic inertial sensors will enhance navigation accuracy in the absence of GNSS for challenging deep-space, airborne, ground, at-sea, underwater, and downhole environments. Future space-based quantum-atomic gravity gradiometers may detect 1 cm changes of the water table height with 200 km spatial resolution from a 300 km orbit.