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Quantum INS: GPS's Replacement?

It may sound like something out of science fiction, but navigation using the principles of Quantum Physics (Quantum Technology) is fast becoming a reality. Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) can increase accuracy by orders of magnitude, revolutionizing navigation across the board. Self-contained Quantum Inertial Navigation Systems (Q-INS) are also impervious to jamming or spoofing by hostile actors. ( More...

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bobfiegel 4
Under the heading of "Way Back When": I remember a Nav on a C-5A arriving at Hickam AFB, Hawaii bitching because the Inertial was a little over a mile off on arrival from Travis AFB, CA.
mbrews 3
some reports say that GPS spoofing can shift the aircraft indicated position by dozens or even hundreds of miles. I predict a renewed interest in proven, rugged, inertial systems
victorbravo77 2
I can't tell you where I am, but I can tell you precisely where I am not. (-vb improper preposition?)
... so, where aren't you?
Geoff Arkley 1
Hilarious! Off by another mile and you would have gone to Tokyo.
mbrews 1
Check the math. Determine the number of miles from Travis to Honolulu. Let’s call it TH. And the units are miles. The net position accuracy is 1 divided by TH. I leave the proof to the interested student. Acceptable answers are in decimal numbers or percentages. Hint : the navigation does NOT lead the craft to Tokyo
The inertial part of the INS is less accurate than GPS......
Current IRS systems (e.g. Honeywell LASEREF) are calibrated and accuracy corrected by GPS as you fly along…
mbrews 1
Thank you for the post. I took a look at the Honeywell web page. IMO - No need to wait for future "quantum boxes" that might need cryogenic temperatures and near-absolute vacuum conditions

Two highlights about the LASEREF -

"The IRU serves as a GNSS denied solution with completely on-aircraft autonomous navigation capability in the advent of GNSS interruption or jamming...

..Meets requirements for RNP AR with 100% availability."

I reckon that Airbus & Boeing & others are being asked to furnish software to " STOP the "auto-correction by GPS " when traveling in GPS-spoofed areas
Whilst I can see the logic in the provision of software to "STOP auto-correction by GPS" when travelling in GPS-spoofed areas a possible problem could be in identifying exactly when, where and how quickly any spoofing is detected.
mbrews 2
Yes, anytime redundant sensors disagree, its important to design the "cutover logic " or "failover logic" for a variety of extreme cases.

But designers might opt to give pilots a simple "Use IRS only pushbutton" rather than over-complicate the logic

I'm guessing some long-haul pilots might be interested to have such buttons on the flight controls, to employ at their discretion.

Today some troublesome routes include Baghdad FIR and vicinity. Tomorrow - Who knows ?
sparkie624 1
IRU's are incredibly accurate and have actually been around longer than GPS's. IRU's basically use Laser Gyro's. Other than the fact that you have to align them after every A/C power down, they are excellent units. The IRU's Must sit for 10 minutes undisturbed... The Only downfall to IRU's is many times it is hard if not impossible to align the IRU's because of wind... I have actually had to move planes pointing them into the wind to get the IRU's to align.. I think that is the Biggest, Another draw back, if they reset in flight, they will not realign... If you are in hard IFR, you will be down to backup instruments. Your ADI and HSI will be useless for the remainder of the flight... Hopefully the opposite side did not reset at the same time.
If it is as good as the initial reports suggest then it looks like a very big step forward. The recent issues with GPS interference demonstrate the need for an alternative positioning system. If it really is impervious to hostile interferance then the military benefits are enormous and equally so in the civilian market.
It will be interesting to see what the likely costs are going to be and if installation will be straightforward. If there really are no serious cost or installation issues then it must be a winner.
avionik99 3
The older tech of INS was impervious to outside interference.
But without the reported accuracy of the new system, I wonder also how they compare cost wise and the installation requirements. Possibly somebody can bring more in depth knowledge to the discussion?
mbrews 1
The "new system " is vaporware , expensive, and not certified. More clickbait articles from aeroexplorer
hal pushpak 1
Vaporware? You sure? It's already being tested according to the article, "..completed commercial flight trials this month. The final test flight occurred on Thursday, May 9, at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, in QinetiQ’s Airborne Technology Demonstrator, a modified RJ100. Science Minister Andrew Griffith flew aboard the final flight."
Boyd Ellison 2
Having witnessed the implementation of VHF Omnirange, INS, LORAN and GPS, I would eagerly look forward to this new way of getting there, but I'm afraid I'm too old. You younger guys, ENJOY, and quit griping.
Chris Cotter 2
I am interested in seeing what comes out of this. I have been following eLORAN development lately as an alternative to GPS, but if this works, I give my [non]authoritative thumbs up.
Is this what submarines use to navigate?
Thomas Francl 2
Is this impervious to jamming hostile aircraft that are invading my airspace?
Chris Muncy 2
Alternative link to the source:
John Prukop 1
Gee, just can't wait for the "NEXT-GEN" of Garmin Goodies with "NO, THE SKY'S NOT THE LIMIT" pricing for their colored glass! Remember guys, SEE AND AVOID involves actually LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW! Lol. Just follow the Pink or Magenta Road!
mbrews 1
IMO, more likely a bunch of Physics pHD students trying to justify their existence. The idea of inertial navigation is nothing new. Just refer to the systems installed on Boeing 757 and 767 models from the 1990s era.

Yes, GPS has been added into wider usage ; but is now vulnerable to intentional hacking / spoofing
Don Whyte 1
I clicked the link to try to read the story but the webpage is obscured under so many ads you can't read the story. And they want you to pay them to get rid of the ads. Such BS.
avionik99 1
How in the heck do you build equipment that will measure the inertial effect on an atom?? Those engineers are the real geniuses, more so than the scientists.
J B 3
It was Heisenberg and successor physics that made even thinking about this possible. Best reason to spend big on "pure" academic science research untethered to immediate corporate and government objectives.
sparkie624 0
I like the idea, anything to make flights safer and more secure. Will have to do more research into this system.... It also sound very expensive, but what in aviation isn't... I have never seen any buy or board a plane to save money!
jetjocknj 1
sparkie624 1
Clarify? Seems pretty clear... I like the idea of a better system of GPS, but there would have to be a lot to prove it before it is accepted. Probably a decade or more off.
jetjocknj 1
Ok, what does "buy or board a plane" (to save money) mean? Does it need some punctuation? What? I don't get it.
sparkie624 1
Was just saying that Flying is not cheap no matter how you do it. Maintaining these systems and keeping them Secure to where it is harder to prevent hacking and so forth... None of that is cheap! Look at GPS Spoofing that is going on now, in particular overseas!
This is a garbage article, clearly written by AI.


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