UK tests “ground-breaking” quantum enabled navigation systems

by | May 21, 2024 | Avionics, Innovation

This month, the UK successfully tested “ground-breaking” quantum technology aimed at creating an unjammable back-up for GPS navigation systems.

Although the technology’s “practical implementation” in commercial aviation is still estimated to be 10-20 years away in the UK, this test signals a key milestone for quantum enabled navigation systems.

The research has received nearly £8m in funding from the UK government who are pushing to be seen as a world leader on quantum, and is the “first test of this type of technology in the UK on an aircraft in flight.”

Accordingly to the government press release, the test is part of a project funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) specifically focusing on creating quantum sensors to address the UK’s heavy reliance on GNSS/GPS for location, navigation, and timing data.

Science Minister Andrew Griffith said:

“From passenger flights to shipping, we all depend on navigation systems that are accurate, safe and secure. The scientific research we are supporting here on quantum technology could well provide the resilience to protect our interests.”

The flight tests involved Infleqtion, a quantum information company, and aerospace companies BAE Systems and QinetiQ. The two tests showed the technology offers “exceptional accuracy, and resilience, independent of traditional satellite navigation using GPS.”

Roger McKinlay, Challenge Director Quantum Technologies at Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), said:

“Modern infrastructure is increasingly dependent on highly accurate timing and navigation derived from satellite signals. These flight tests mark the culmination of two excellent projects which Infleqtion has had the vision to create and the deftness in leadership to execute with an outstanding team of collaborators.”

For more like this see:


Discover more from Aerospace Tech Review

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading