(NationalInterestBlog) Scientists in China and Australia are betting that developments in the field of quantum physics will play their part in changing the rules of undersea warfare in the twenty-first century.
Quantum sensors and communicators could potentially bypass many of the limitations and vulnerabilities of traditional radio-frequency sensors, remaining effective despite jamming or stealthy-aircraft profiles. As detailed at further length in the source article, China appears to have taken an early lead in ‘quantum radar’, though how soon the technology can be developed into an operationally viable system remains to be seen.
The SQUID, or Superconducting Quantum Interference Device leverages quantum technology to offer an ultra-sensitive magnetometer. Too sensitive, in fact, as SQUIDs have picked up background noise from stuff as distant as solar flares. However on June 21, 2017, a Chinese periodical announced that Professor XIamong Xie of the Shanghai Institute of Microsystems and Information Technology had developed cryogenic liquid-nitrogen-cooled SQUID which reduced the noise-problem—and in field-tests, had proven capable of detecting ferrous objects deep underground even when mounted on a helicopter.
After a South China Morning Post article speculated on whether it amounted “to the world’s most powerful submarine detector?” the original article was taken down.