(Australia.Defense) Australia Defense interviewed Professor Gavin Brennen, Director of Macquarie University’s Centre for Quantum Engineering, to learn more about quantum technologies in a defense context.
Prof Brennen explained that with advances in quantum computing any and all previously encrypted sensitive communications (from government and military secrets to bank transactions) can potentially be compromised. Optimistic estimates of quantum computer development suggest that achieving this feat could be only about 10 years away.
‘Old’ but sensitive information regarding military deployments, installations or locations of missile silos for instance, can still be relevant and help adversaries piece together their intelligence map. Commercial secrets, intellectual property (IP), designs, bank transactions will also all be vulnerable.
Institutions like Macquarie University, along with the University of Technology Sydney, UNSW and Sydney University are leading the way to develop quantum cryptography and also pushing to develop more secure classical codes called post-quantum cryptography, Prof Brennen explained.
Australian research is ALSO leading the world is quantum sensing–exciting development Prof Brennen and his team are working on is a gravimeter. These gravimeters could be deployed on aircraft (or, in the future, satellites) to detect deep underground bunkers, missile silos, or indeed any cavity –without the adversary knowing it has been detected.