Quantum Computing

SandboxAQ Successfully Tests Its Quantum Navigation System with the US Air Force

Insider Summary

  • SandboxAQ reports the successful testing of a state-of-the-art quantum sensor-based magnetic anomaly navigation system.
  • The test flight was conducted last week at Travis Air Force Base by the 60th Air Mobility Wing.
  • The system uses signals from Earth’s magnetic field to act as an irreversible global “fingerprint,” and compares the signals to existing map data for increased accuracy.

PERS CONFERENCE – SandboxAQ today announced it has successfully tested an advanced quantum sensor-based magnetic anomaly navigation system with the US Air Force (USAF). The test flight, conducted last week at Travis Air Force Base by the 60th Air Mobility Wing, is part of an ongoing readiness and modernization effort to explore and develop Assured Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (APNT) solutions to enhance the Global Positioning System (GPS) . Such a solution will provide uninterrupted navigation in situations where GPS is not available or is intentionally overridden or spoofed.

In January 2023, the USAF awards SandboxAQ Direct-to-Phase-II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to research quantum navigation technology. “The need for a GPS alternative was critical,” said Major Patrick Morgan, Wing Tactics. “If we are on a mission where GPS is not available, it is important to have other solutions in place to ensure mission continuity and ensure a safe exit and return to base for our Airmen.”

As part of last week’s Exercise Golden Phoenix, the SandboxAQ quantum navigation prototype was mounted aboard a USAF C-17 GlobeMaster III military transport aircraft and successfully received geomagnetic navigation data on the ground and during multiple flight tests, completing a milestone eight months of flight test history. timetable.

“Robust global navigation is a mission-critical capability for military operations, but also for enhancing the security and geospatial accuracy of commercial transportation, business and leisure travel, autonomous vehicles, underwater or underground exploration, and more,” said Jen Sovada, Public Global Sector President at SandboxAQ. “We are very proud that our quantum navigation system performed superbly in its first flight test, and we look forward to the next phase with the USAF and other partners.”

Unlike traditional sensors, quantum sensors are very sensitive to the slightest changes in electric and magnetic fields. The SandboxAQ system picks up signals from the Earth’s magnetic field, which acts as an irreversible global “fingerprint,” and compares those signals to existing map data to improve overall positional awareness. The system utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to filter out “noise” (e.g. vibration, motion, electrical impulses, etc.) generated by airplanes or other vehicles, greatly increasing the speed and accuracy of signal processing.

The main aspects of the SandboxAQ quantum navigation system:

  • Uninterruptible Worldwide Signal: Because the Earth’s magnetic field is ubiquitous and immutable, it provides unrestricted access and a persistent trusted signal from any location.
  • All weather: The quantum sensor is not affected by clouds or lighting conditions, making it an effective complement to other navigation techniques.
  • Agnostic Field: Quantum navigation requires no visual ground features, making it a valuable tool for navigation in the air, in open water, in remote terrain, even underwater or underground.
  • Passive Technology: Quantum sensors passively receive geomagnetic data and do not emit or reflect any signals, which helps reduce vehicle detection.
  • Improved Global Magnetic Mapping: Sharing data generated by quantum sensors has the potential to enhance global magnetic maps for a wide range of stakeholders and use cases.

For more information about SandboxAQ’s quantum sensing solution, including its advanced quantum navigation system, please visit https://www.sandboxaq.com/solutions/quantum-sensing.

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