SandboxAQ has won a Direct-to-Phase-II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) from the U.S. Air Force to research and develop a quantum navigation sensor that can be used in GPS-denied environments. Phase II SBIR’s typically are awarded in amounts up to $1,000,000 and typically last 24 months. SandboxAQ has been working on ultra-sensitive magnetic sensors that could potentially detect minute changes in the earth’s magnetic field in different locations. By creating a map that records the magnetic fields ahead of time, an airplane flying over a particular area can later sense the field and compare it with the information on the map. This type of approach would not depend upon satellites and be resistant to jamming. There are other approaches to creating quantum based navigation including those based upon inertial navigation and precision timing devices. SandboxAQ will be leveraging its expertise in both AI and quantum technologies for this program. SandboxAQ’s announcement of this award can be accessed here and a page on their website that describes several of their quantum sensing activities can be seen here.

February 1, 2023