(Manufacturing.net) Zheshen Zhang, a University of Arizona assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is leading a $5 million quantum technology project to advance navigation for autonomous vehicles and spacecraft, as well as measurement of otherworldly materials such as dark matter and gravitational waves.
The National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator Program, which fast-tracks multidisciplinary efforts to solve real-world problems, is funding the Quantum Sensors project.
In September 2020, 29 U.S. teams received phase I funding to develop solutions in either quantum technology or artificial intelligence-driven data sharing and modeling. Ten prototypes have advanced to phase II, each receiving $5 million, including two projects led by UArizona researchers – Zhang’s project and another by hydrology and atmospheric sciences assistant professor Laura Condon.
“Quantum technology and AI innovation are a priority for the National Science Foundation,” said Douglas Maughan, head of the NSF Convergence Accelerator program. “Today’s scientific priorities and national-scale societal challenges cannot be solved by a single discipline. Instead, the merging of new ideas, techniques and approaches, plus the Convergence Accelerator’s innovation curriculum, enables teams to speed their research into application. We are excited to welcome Quantum Sensors into phase II and to assist them in applying our program fundamentals to ensure their solution provides a positive impact on society at large.”