Q-CTRL and Advanced Navigation partner for quantum-based navigation systems

The pair have announced a global research and development partnership to offer 'high-precision' navigation products based on quantum sensing technology.

Quantum startup Q-CTRL has partnered with AI-based navigation hardware firm Advanced Navigation to further work on quantum-enabled sensing.

The two Australian companies have announced their intentions to conduct joint technical development in support of both the civilian and defence markets, focusing on quantum-enhanced precision navigation and timing (PNT).  

According to the companies, quantum sensing is considered one of the most promising areas in the global research effort to leverage the exotic properties of quantum physics for real-world benefit.

"It is expected to revolutionise PNT through an ability to detect very weak accelerations while maintaining accuracy over long times," they wrote. "Quantum-enabled PNT can therefore enable highly precise navigation in commercial and military applications where GPS is unavailable."

See also: Australia's ambitious plan to win the quantum race

Q-CTRL, a commercial spinoff from the University of Sydney, considers itself a pioneer in the field of quantum control engineering, which applies the lessons of classical control engineering to stabilise quantum systems against disturbances in their environment. It's touted this as a critical component in bringing quantum sensing to market.

Advanced Navigation, meanwhile, builds "ultra-precise" AI-based navigational technologies and robotics for sea, air, land, and space across commercial and defence domains.  

"We are excited to enter into a partnership with Q-CTRL who has the world's largest and most capable specialist team of quantum control engineers," co-founder and co-CEO of Advanced Navigation Chris Shaw said. "Combining our expertise and manufacturing capability in precision navigation technologies, along with Q-CTRL's expertise in the design and operation of advanced quantum hardware, will allow us to bring next-generation quantum PNT solutions to market."

The companies said they hope to "dramatically" expand this opportunity through the development of ultra-high-performance software-enabled hybrid quantum PNT systems for autonomous vehicles, defence, and space applications.

Also this week, another Australian quantum firm, Archer Materials, announced it has commenced what it called a "significant" phase in its technology development as part of its commercial roadmap to build the 12CQ room-temperature quantum computing quantum bit (qubit) processor.

"Achieving control of single and few qubits in our 12CQ chip design components would mark our first major technology development milestone in chip operation and a paradigm shift in the wider quantum computing economy that thrives on and values such disruptive advances," Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair said. 

"The company's recent successful and oversubscribed share purchase plan means we have been able to accelerate Archer's 12CQ work programs to significantly reduce the time previously allocated for control fabrication, from 12 months to around 6 months, and has provided the opportunity to rapidly derisk chip development, which we have now commenced".

It follows the company last month announcing a milestone in its race to build a room-temperature quantum computing qubit processor, revealing it has successfully performed its first measurement on a single qubit component.

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