Will Rafael’s quantum research change the face of submarine, aerial, and networked warfare?
(JerusalemPost) Militaries and defense companies are already producing, in some cases, and close to producing in others, practical, significant defense technologies using quantum sensors.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. cannot discuss most of its operational focuses on-record, but it can confirm that it is interested in quantum sensors for navigation in GPS-denied environments, and as the basic building block for Inertial Measurement Units used in a wide number of industries.
Quantum computing and quantum sensors can be seen as cousins in a quantum physics revolution that will be no less significant than the space race.
Rafael Quantum Technological Center Head Ran recently told The Jerusalem Post that quantum sensor technology could be two years or less away from being deployed by a military somewhere. But quantum computing may be five, 10 or more years away from having practical real-world applications outside of the finance sector.
“Our Quantum Center is focused on trying to develop quantum sensors and quantum technology that would enhance classical sensors,” Ran said. “Rafael is focused on sensors for defense.”
Ran said that new advances in quantum sensors for submarine and other sea vessels’ navigation systems may be two years off.
Geometrics is one American company that produces quantum magnetometers, which it says can already provide detection capabilities for the defense of a harbor area. Israel Aerospace Industries is also working on quantum magnetometers.
An increasing number of IDF land vehicles operate using networked and artificial intelligence technologies for everything from navigation to targeting, and publicly available sources indicate that militaries using such technologies could be vulnerable to certain kinds of classical jamming absent an upgrade to quantum sensors.
classical jamming technology works on classical detection technology is to create noise, spoofing and to mimic enemy units with a large volume of false positives that loses the real targets in the malaise.
But quantum sensors operate at such a deeper level of accuracy – editing out the noise and spoofing arising from such jamming issues – that they can pierce the veil of false positives and hone in on the true target.
This means that quantum sensors would allow uninterrupted attacks and movements by IDF or other Western military forces.
Rafael is working on a quantum gravimeter with the Weizmann Institute of Science.
“Rafael has two quantum groups,” Ran said. “One is more of a physical state group that takes academic knowledge into making technological demonstrations. This is what we do. There is another group, more of an engineering technology [group] to demonstrate an actual product.”