Drone Flights to Be Guided by Quantum Computers

Partnership aims to determine best UAV flight trajectories
Berenice Baker
Berenice Baker

October 11, 2022

Delivery drones flying at sunset
Quantum computers could help drones find the best flightpath.Gerry

Quantum computers are being tapped to help unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) find the safest, most efficient route between destinations.

Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) is partnering with the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) to determine the best flight trajectories for UAVs using QCI’s Qatalyst software and Quantum Photonic Systems hardware.

Flight path calculation is a critical risk-management use case that needs to consider factors including the time, speed and route of the journey while satisfying airspace constraints and minimizing risks related to weather, obstacles and other aircraft.

Any decision made must fulfill legislation laid out by the Federal Aviation Administration.

This risk-based decision-making is an example of a real-world complex optimization problem ideally suited to certain types of quantum computing. According to QCI, its entropy quantum computing systems show the potential to quickly identify optimized flight paths that minimize costs and in-flight risks.

This risk-based decision-making is an example of a real-world complex optimization problem ideally suited to certain types of quantum computing. According to QCI, its entropy quantum computing systems show the potential to quickly identify optimized flight paths that minimize costs and in-flight risks.

VIPC is a nonprofit organization that supports and invests in emerging technologies like quantum computing within Virginia to improve competitiveness and attract more commercial opportunities to the state.

QCI and VIPC plan to incorporate sensor and micro-weather data collected by the Virginia Flight Information Exchange, which provides state and local data for UAVs.

“VIPC and the Commonwealth of Virginia have demonstrated their technology leadership with this project, focusing on real-world problems involving quantum computing,” said QCI CEO Robert Liscouski.

“QCI is eager to demonstrate that quantum computing offers business solutions for today’s problems, not just in the sense of computing power, but in other applications including LiDAR and quantum networks.”

“Our partnership with real-world-based company QCI is designed to test and discover the impact of quantum computing solutions on complex problems,” said VIPC CTO and vice president for strategic initiatives David Ihrie.

“Emerging technology will require faster, more efficient quantum computing solutions. We are working to ensure Virginia is prepared for safe and efficient technology integration.”

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