(GPSWorld) ColdQuanta, which specializes in cold atom quantum technology, has been awarded two development contracts from U.S. government agencies worth $2.55 million. Both projects are based on the company’s Quantum Core technology, which uses atoms cooled to a temperature of nearly absolute zero and lasers to manipulate and control the atoms with extreme precision.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD R&E) awarded ColdQuanta $1.8 million for the development of a prototype atomic clock that could enable reliable, highly accurate position, navigation and timing (PNT) capabilities necessary for the functioning of critical infrastructure around the world. Atomic clocks are used for GPS/GNSS systems as well as for time-distribution services that are the basis of financial networks, computer, TV and radio services and other applications.
Under this project, ColdQuanta will deliver a state-of-the-art atomic clock with “instant on” capability if a GPS signal is lost, with a timing accuracy comparable to the best commercial clocks. It will also be ruggedized, portable and compact to enable its use in aircraft, and will minimize the power draw in between periods of demand.
“High-performance atomic clocks are the backbone of the internet, electrical power grids, financial networks, and autonomous navigation. Combining this with ColdQuanta’s development of related inertial navigation devices — such as gyroscopes, accelerometers and gravimeters — will lead to the first Quantum Positioning Systems,” said Dan Caruso, executive chairman and CEO of ColdQuanta. “We’re excited to work closely with the Department of Defense to meet their urgent needs, while also advancing the capabilities needed for future, unassailable global positioning technology.”