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Quantum Leap: Shrinking sensing technologies for field operations

Quantum-sensing technologies promise to deliver capabilities and performance beyond the limits of physics used in traditional sensors. As an example, Canada is home to many laboratories and companies that are expanding the limits of sensing technologies through the development and testing of quantum-based systems able to sense electromagnetic and gravitational fields at levels that are difficult to detect using classical systems. In order to provide a decisive advantage, however, these technologies and systems need to be translated out of the lab to be used in the field.

The barrier to the adoption of quantum-sensing technologies in the field is the need to provide suitable mechanical, thermal, and electromagnetic-shielding environments for the quantum systems. Technologies that provide suitable environments in the lab are often too large, heavy, delicate, or “power hungry” for use in military platforms (e.g. spacecraft, aircraft, ships, trucks, radar receivers and human-portable). New, portable and robust, quantum-based sensing technologies, devices and systems need to be developed.