(MilitaryAerospace) The debate over quantum computing is largely about when — not if — these kinds of devices will come into full operation. Meanwhile, other forms of quantum technology, such as sensors, already are finding their way into military and civilian applications.
“Quantum technology will be as transformational in the 21st Century as harnessing electricity was in the 19th,” Michael J. Biercuk, founder and CEO of Q-CTRL Pty Ltd in Sydney, Australia, and professor of Quantum Physics & Quantum Technologies at the University of Sydney, told the U.S. Office of Naval Research in a January 2019 presentation.
On that, there is virtually universal agreement. But when and how remains undetermined.
According to DARPA’s ONISQ webpage, the program aims to exploit quantum information processing before fully fault-tolerant quantum computers are realized.This quantum computer based on superconducting qubits is inserted into a dilution refrigerator and cooled to a temperature less than 1 Kelvin. It was built at IBM Research in Zurich.This quantum computer based on superconducting qubits is inserted into a dilution refrigerator and cooled to a temperature less than 1 Kelvin. It was built at IBM Research in Zurich.
The early applications of quantum computing, while not embedded on mobile platforms, are expected to enhance warfighter capabilities significantly.
Jim Clark, director of quantum hardware at Intel Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif., explains, “There is a high likelihood quantum computing will impact ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance], solving logistics problems more quickly. But so much of this is in the basic research stage. While we know the types of problems and general application space, optimization problems will be some of the first where we will see advantages from quantum computing,” says Sara Gamble, quantum information sciences program manager at ARL.
Perhaps the biggest stumbling block to a mobile platform-based quantum computing is cooling — it currently requires a cooling unit, at near absolute zero, the Military trusted computing experts are considering new generations of quantum computing for creating nearly unbreakable encryption for super-secure defense applications.Military trusted computing experts are considering new generations of quantum computing for creating nearly unbreakable encryption for super-secure defense applications.size of a refrigerator to handle a fractional piece of quantum computing.
“A lot of work has been done and things are being touted as operational, but the most important thing to understand is this isn’t some simple physical thing you throw in suddenly and it works. That makes it harder to call it deployable — you’re not going to strap a quantum computing to a handheld device.