- The Royal Navy has successfully conducted the first test of a quantum navigation system capable of pinpointing the precise location of ships around the world, without relying on GPS.
- This technology was developed by physicists from Imperial College in London.
- Quantum navigation is a technological leap over satellite-based systems, as satellites can crash and often crash.
The Royal Navy is considered to be the greatest global navigator in history and an early adopter of navigation technology. Now, Sky News reported that the Royal Navy is carrying that historic legacy into the quantum era.
Television news networks say the Royal Navy has successfully conducted the first test of a quantum navigation system capable of pinpointing the precise location of ships around the world, without relying on GPS. Developed by physicists from Imperial College in London, the technology takes advantage of the unique properties of atoms to achieve more precise measurements of object movement compared to conventional methods.
With this quantum navigation system, a ship can navigate with greater accuracy than traditional chart and compass methods, eliminating the need for currently widely used satellite-based navigation.
Colonel Tom Ryan, head of Navy X, the research division of the Royal Navy, highlighted the importance of this development, stating that it offers a new and innovative approach to accurately plot ship positions, a fundamental requirement for Navy and military operations.
This is a potentially long technological leap from current satellite navigation.
“Sometimes it can be interrupted or sometimes it doesn’t work,” Colonel Tom Ryan, head of Navy X, the research division of the Royal Navy, told Sky News. “So the ability to have new and new ways to accurately, very accurately, plan your position is fundamental to the way the Royal Navy and military do business.”
Although specific details on the application of this technology remain classified by the Royal Navy, certain clues point to a possible use. For example, submarines cannot rely on GPS when submerged. Quantum navigation, however, could theoretically work while the craft is submerged.
The XV Patrick Blackett, the Navy’s new experimental ship, served as the backdrop for the experiment. Sky News says the ship makes the perfect host for the futuristic experiment – it boasts a streamlined design, featuring tinted windows and a glossy black hull.
The successful trial of a quantum navigation system marks a significant step forward in naval technology, with potential implications for enhancing navigational capabilities and operational effectiveness in a variety of maritime scenarios.