This prototype effort, says the organization, will evaluate commercial solutions using demonstrable quantum technology to achieve significant performance improvements for aerospace and other novel applications to include, but not be limited to, inertial sensing, timing, and gravimetry. The effort will be multi-phased, beginning with the delivery and independent evaluation of a flight-ready quantum sensor for aerospace and other strategic environments.
The effort is designed to address the tracking of space vehicles where methods such as GPS are unavailable for determining their position, navigation, and timing. Quantum sensors are seen as a potential solution for this and other applications.
“The sensor is intended to be applicable across a broad range of platforms for operating in environments where GPS may be unavailable or for enhancing operations where GPS is available,” says DIU Program Manager George Sondecker. “DIU is partnered with a number of stakeholders across the DoD to develop the Quantum Space Sensor identified in this solicitation.”
Desired performance specifications are inertial sensors with an error rate better than 100 m/hr (deep space) or 30 m/hr (terrestrial) and with a size and power consumption of less than 0.1 m3 and 300 W, respectively. Prototypes must be delivered within 24 months.
Solutions that minimize resources required for calibration will be favored. Phase II, says the organization, will involve the flight demonstration and validation of performance in the space environment.
Responses are due by April 19, 2020.
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