(C4ISR.net) The Department of Defense is looking for a more accurate tool — namely, a quantum space sensor because while GPS has a host of applications on Earth — from enabling credit card transactions to weather forecasting — it is decidedly less useful off planet.
GPS was designed to enable navigation around the Earth, not in deep space.
Space vehicles operating beyond the reaches of GPS have to rely on other methods for determining their position, navigation and timing, such as inertial measurements or even star tracking.
The Defense Innovation Unit — the organization within the DoD charged with leveraging commercial technologies for military use — is seeking a compact, high-performance sensor that can use quantum technology to provide precise inertial measurements in deep space. DIU is not developing the quantum sensor for any space vehicle in particular.
No specific platform has been identified. The sensor is intended to be applicable across a broad range of platforms for operating in environments where GPS may be unavailable or for enhancing operations where GPS is available,”