Aquark Technologies Demonstrates Airborne Cold Atom System on a Small Drone

Aquark Technologies has successfully demonstrated continuous trapping of cold atoms suitable for sensing while flying on a drone. The world’s first achievement will support an array of applications, including enhanced navigation, precise measurements, and situational awareness, all with the potential to revolutionize multiple industries.

Aquark Technologies recently conducted field trials validating the trapping, cooling, and continuous operation of cold atoms while airborne on a quadcopter drone. The trials were run in partnership and joint-funded by MBDA and Innovate UK (Project: 10028190) and flown by Wright Airborne Computing.

The entire system, weighing less than 10 kg, withstood freezing temperatures, high humidity fog, and complex maneuvers, operating for over an hour on internal power during full-day trials.

Cold atom-based quantum technology leverages group one or two elements, such as Rubidium, in ultra-high vacuum conditions (>10-8 mbar) and precisely tuned lasers to confine and slow down atoms for the manipulation of quantum states of superposition and entanglement.

Cold atom-based quantum technology offer significant improvements for quantum computing and high-precision sensors, with implications for measuring: time, acceleration, electromagnetic waves, Magnetic fields, and rotation. Aquark’s unique and patented approach to trapping and cooling atoms without using magnetic fields makes these systems smaller, simpler, and more cost-effective.

Andrei Dragomir, CEO, Aquark Technologies commented: “These trials yielded invaluable real-world operational data for Aquark’s platform technology and provided a transformational step towards off-the-shelf cold atom systems, from high-performance cold atom atomic clocks to gravimeters, with unprecedented precision and accuracy that will redefine the world of Quantum Technology.”

Marc Jones, Head of Innovation, MBDA UK Limited said, “Quantum technology holds the potential to be a breakthrough for defence. As MBDA looks towards the future of our products we believe that Aquark’s approach to cold atom quantum technology offers an exciting and compelling alternative to the current state of the art.” Further to this he added, “MBDA looks to build partnerships that deliver innovation and technical excellence. Identifying the latest technologies and emerging opportunities. With our partners, we look to build enduring relationships that improve our products and increase our worldwide competitiveness. Ultimately, delivering against our customers’ needs now and in the future.”

About Aquark Technologies:

Aquark Technologies is a pioneering company dedicated to advancing the forefront of cold atom quantum technology, making quantum advancements more accessible and affordable. With expertise in vacuum technology, microfabrication, and laser system development, Aquark is committed to making cold atom systems more accessible and practical. For more information, visit  www.aquarktechnologies.com

About MBDA:

MBDA is a unique multi-national European group, a world-leader in the field of complex weapon systems, playing a key role in keeping nations safe. Created in the spirit of international co-operation, MBDA and its 14,000+ employees work together to support the national sovereignty of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, and their allies worldwide. As an accelerator for innovation, MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and manufacturing complex weapons to meet the full range of current and future operational requirements of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%) and Leonardo (25%) jointly own MBDA.

www.mbda-systems.com

About Innovate UK:

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. We support business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. We help businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services, supported by an outstanding innovation ecosystem that is agile, inclusive, and easy to navigate.