Quantum technologies are expected to create a massive paradigm shift in the way aircraft are built and flown. At Airbus, we aim to be an early adopter of quantum technologies to enhance the performance of our products and services, and to help us solve the most complex aerospace challenges.

Leveraging quantum to solve aerospace challenges

Airbus is exploring a number of quantum technologies that can be applied to aerospace challenges. These technologies include the following: 

  • Quantum computing: The aerospace industry has complex computational needs in the areas of fluid dynamics, finite-element simulations, aerodynamics, flight mechanics, and more. Airbus actively uses advanced computing solutions in these areas. We strongly believe quantum computing, in tandem with more traditional high-performance computing (HPC) solutions, can help us to solve key computationally intensive tasks.
  • Quantum communication: Today’s cryptographic algorithms – such as the widely used encryption via asymmetric keys – will not be able to sustain attacks by the quantum computers of tomorrow. Our goal is to develop a future secure communications infrastructure for our aerospace platforms based on security-enhancing quantum information technologies (algorithms, authentications, keys).  
  • Quantum sensing: Quantum sensors are effective at measuring physical quantities such as frequency, acceleration, rotation rates, electric and magnetic fields, and temperature with the highest relative and absolute accuracy. We believe this could have direct applications in improving our navigation systems in which precise acceleration measurement is used to achieve position data. In addition, quantum sensors could act as payloads for a range of different applications, such as climate dynamics from satellites or underground resources surveying from an aircraft. 

Partnering with quantum technology experts

Quantum technologies will enable Airbus to answer advanced flight-physics challenges. To do so, we partner with external experts—from academia and start-ups to industry—to optimally merge quantum technologies and capabilities with our aerospace competencies.

Examples of our collaborations include the following:

Airbus Quantum Computing Challenge

Airbus Quantum Computing Challenge

Bringing flight physics into the Quantum Era

Latest news

A consortium of European digital players to design the future EU quantum internet
Brussels, 31 May 2021 – The European Commission has selected a consortium of companies and research institutes to study the design of the future European quantum communication network, EuroQCI (quantum communication infrastructure). It will enable ultra-secure communication between critical infrastructures and government institutions across the European Union.
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Airbus quantum computing challenge helps advance sustainable flight
Airbus has concluded its global Quantum Computing Challenge (AQCC) announcing the winning team of the competition. The Italian team at Machine Learning Reply - a leading systems integration and digital services company part of Reply Group - won the challenge with their solution to optimise aircraft loading.
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Meet the Airbus Quantum Computing Challenge’s five finalist teams
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