Thursday, May 15, 2014

Quantum based navigational system.

Looking at Drudge today and seeing nothing but "look, shiny thing!" propaganda,  I discovered this single gem.

MoD's 'quantum compass' offers potential to replace GPS

Several quantum-navigation technologies are being developed at Porton Down and the NPL. At a basic level, they work by supercooling trapped ions and reducing the effect of external radiation so they are sensitive only to electromagnetic fluctuations produced by the earth.

Measuring the influence of those fluctuations on the particles should allow scientists to track the movement of a chip containing the trapped ions with extreme precision.

The article itself is utter crap except for the above two sentences. But what is revealed here is amazing. An "inertial" guidance system so accurate it can locate its self without a fixed external reference point OR a map of the magnetic field.

Currently the equipment fits in a three foot long shoebox, according to the crappy article. That's already more than good enough for an aircraft or a ship, maybe a little large for a car. Going to be interesting to see how they put it in a cell phone though. :)

The Phantom

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