(Sociable.co) Earlier this year, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) opened a solicitation to evaluate commercial solutions to deploy quantum sensors in space. These sensors will utilize “demonstrable quantum technology to achieve significant performance improvements for aerospace and other novel applications to include, but not limited to, inertial sensing, timing and gravimetry.”
With the same timeline for completion as Tranche 0, the DIU wants a prototype that consists of a “compact, high-performance quantum sensor for precision inertial measurement in deep space and other GPS-denied environments.”
According to a joint presentation from the US Naval Research Laboratory and the University of Missouri, the system will detect other threats such as asteroids or space debris “The challenges of space-based threats dwarf anything considered in the context of missile defense,” the authors say.
“Unlike ICBMs, at any time an asteroid may emerge from any direction in space aiming at any point on Earth.”
According to the presentation, space-borne quantum sensors could help detect, prevent, or respond to missile attacks, asteroids, and comets, as well as keeping track of satellites and space debris that whiz around Earth’s orbit.

NOTE: The IQT summary above focuses on quantum sensors. The complete article discusses the threat posed to the USA from the killer satellites and director energy systems that China and Russia are mounting in space. Mark Esper, the Secretary of Defense is quoted at length, “China and Russia, seek to erode our longstanding dominance in air power through long-range fires, anti-access/area-denial systems and other asymmetric capabilities designed to counter our strengths. In space, Moscow and Beijing have turned a once peaceful arena into a war fighting domain. They have weaponized space through killer satellites, directed energy weapons, and more in an effort to exploit our systems and chip away at our military advantage,” he added.