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.