The first multidimensional hybrid quantum inertial sensor was recently announced by the French CNRS in Science Advances. The quantum inertial sensor can navigate an aircraft or vehicle without GPS or satellite signals. The sensor uses quantum technology that can accurately measure acceleration in three dimensions and in any direction with ultra-sensitivity.
The ideal inertial sensor for navigation must, on the one hand, emit signals continuously at a high rate, and on the other, remain precise and sensitive over extended periods. Classic inertial sensors do meet the first criterion, but they err over time. In contrast, quantum sensors are extremely precise and sensitive, but measures are accompanied by dead time. The team developed the first multidimensional hybrid quantum inertial sensor by combining two sensor technologies, classical and quantum. The device emits a steady signal at the rate of a classic sensor and is calibrated in real time based on quantum measurements, increasing accuracy by a factor of 50 times. Acceleration in three dimensions can be continuously measured and tracked no matter the position of the sensor. The full potential of these properties may be realized through onboard applications, for example, navigating flights without the aid of global navigation satellite systems.