(Birmingham.co.uk) Sensor technology vital for UK critical national infrastructure is becoming outdated, warn experts at the University of Birmingham-led UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing.
The current weakness threatens anticipated advances, many involving quantum technologies, across different sectors – including climate change, defence, transportation, energy supplies and healthcare.
Everything from flying taxis, driverless delivery vehicles and improved timing systems, upon which 10 per cent of the UK economy depends, will rely on a new generation of sensors for smooth, safe, and secure operation. Sensor technology is now central to the UK economy, but risks becoming the weakest link in technological advances if taken for granted, experts have concluded.
Professor Kai Bongs, Director of Innovation at the University of Birmingham’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Principle Investigator of the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing, described sensors as a critical underpinning technology.
Prof Bongs said that quantum technologies have huge potential to unearth new and needed information about the world.
A new generation of quantum sensors when developed will help:
Map accurately buried hazards before rail, road and building projects begin.
Make autonomous vehicles safe.
Deliver crucial timing signals needed for electronic equipment, ending reliance on vulnerable and variable satellite signals.
Set new standards for the operation of trading on financial markets.
Reveal the invisible natural world underground and undersea