Bringing Revolutionary Technology To Warfighters
by David Vergun, DOD News
March 11, 2021
Quantum science is important for the Defense Department, because
of the revolutionary technologies that it will bring to warfighters,
the principal director for quantum science in the office of the
undersecretary of defense for research and engineering said in an
Among the technologies in development are
advances in quantum computing and networks that are many times more
effective at encrypting or decrypting today's communications, Paul
The Army is conducting research on quantum computing at the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Maryland. (U.S. Army photo -
February 2, 2021)
DOD scientists and civilian partners are working with the
National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop new
cryptographic standards that ensure information stays private, he
Quantum sensors are another exciting future
possibility that could be used for such things as missile and
aircraft tracking, as well as more advanced gyros and
accelerometers, he said.
"We're just starting to understand the possibilities," he said.
An application where quantum science is used today is in
powering the atomic clocks used by GPS satellites, which must be
precisely synchronized. Lopata said that's important because
military systems such as aircraft and missiles need to have a great
deal of precision, navigation and timing.
quantum science to the military's first use of electricity in the
1800s, which was used to power telegraphs — the first information
technology of its kind that greatly improved long distance command,
control and communications.
February 2, 2021 - John Hannegan, a graduate student and research scientist at the University of Maryland, adjusts photon collection optics in preparation for linking the trapped ion lab with another quantum lab. He is working with Army research at the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, MD.
(U.S. Army photo)
Of course, the U.S. isn't the only nation pursuing quantum
science for military use, he said. So-called great power competitors
Russia and China are, as well.
Fortunately, so are our allies
and partners, he said, meaning that these nations can and are
collaborating on some of these quantum science projects.
large room filled with equipment is bathed in colorful lights.
In the U.S., the department is leveraging academia and the
private sector to advance quantum science, Lopata said. DOD's
efforts are concentrated in each of the service's research
laboratories and engineering departments, as well as organizations
that include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
February 2, 2021 - A U.S. Army illustration, graphic depicts binary code.
There's a wide range of basic scientists, applied scientists and
engineers looking to understand how the department can take
advantage of quantum science and apply it to current and new
systems, he said.
"DOD is a top tier place to be a quantum
scientist because of the broad possibilities for research, the
opportunity to pioneer new technologies, and the ability to serve
our country," he said.
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