Inside Quantum Technology

Pentagon Planning for Quantum Sensors to Track & Monitor Distant Spacecraft

Illustration of a satellite orbiting the earth

(Futurism) The Pentagon just put out a call for new sensors that use quantum sensor technology to track and monitor distant spacecraft.
The ultimate goal is to develop a compact system that would accurately log a spacecraft’s location as it travels. And if a vendor — the Pentagon isn’t building it in-house — develops a good enough system, it could also help terrestrial missions where GPS fails.
“No specific platform has been identified,” Defense Innovation Unit Program Manager George Sondecker told C4ISRNET. “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.”
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. The quantum sensor could also be used in non-space environments where GPS signals are degraded and denied.
According to DIU Program Manager George Sondecker, quantum sensors are an emerging technology, and a “primary objective of this effort is to mature the technology readiness of commercial sensors for reliable operations.”
DIU is accepting questions through April 16/today, and responses are due April 19.

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