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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X012689/1
Title: Chip-scale Atomic Systems for a Quantum Navigator
Principal Investigator: Paul, Professor DJ
Other Investigators:
Peccianti, Professor M Riis, Professor E Sorel, Professor M
Georgiev, Professor VP Gallacher, Dr K Griffin, Dr PF
Demetriadou, Dr A Pasquazi, Professor A Holynski, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Alter Technology TUV Nord BAE Systems Bay Photonics Ltd
BMT Group Ltd (UK) BP Connected Places Catapult
Fraunhofer Institut (Multiple, Grouped) G&H Photonics Helia Photonics
IQE PLC Kelvin Nanotechnology Ltd Leonardo UK ltd
M Squared Lasers Ltd MBDA National Physical Laboratory NPL
QinetiQ SemiWise Ltd. Sivers Photonics Ltd
Teledyne UK Ltd Thales Ltd TMD Technologies Ltd
Vector Photonics
Department: School of Engineering
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Programme Grants
Starts: 16 November 2023 Ends: 15 November 2028 Value (£): 8,883,909
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Feb 2023 EPSRC ICT Programme Grants Interview Panel February 2023 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Our vision is to pioneer a mobile phone sized quantum navigator by combining chip-scale quantum clocks, accelerometers and rotation sensors (gyroscopes) that can be manufactured on silicon chips to be used for position, navigation and timing without reliance on signals from satellites. Our aim is to improve satellite-free navigator accuracy compared to present marine grade commercial systems by at least x10 with over a x100 reduction in size, weight, power and cost enabled through the development of new science approaches. An analogy is Harrison's pocket watch, H4, that won the Longitude Prize in 1773 as the small size reduced the uncertainties from temperature and acceleration drifts on navy ships.

Society navigates using satnavs in vehicles and mobile phones but the nano-Watt signals are easy to jam, spoof and do not work inside buildings, under the ocean or underground. Spoofing and jamming are also used by pirates to steal ships, people traffickers and organised crime to hid illegal behaviour, and in military conflict zones to limit situational awareness of opponents.

Resilient navigation without satellites uses dead reckoning where the current position from a previously determined reference is calculated using time, velocity, acceleration and rotation measurements. The UK Government recommends all position, navigation and timing for national security and critical national infrastructure can operate for greater than 3 days without updated references from satellites. The UK Government Blackett Review on Global Navigation Satellite Signals (GNSS) Dependencies and Vulnerabilities states that 5 days loss of satellite navigation has a potential loss of £5.2Bn to the UK economy.

MOD, US DARPA, the European Defence Fund and the Connected Places Catapult indicates that national security and autonomous vehicle markets require far smaller, more accurate, robust and cheaper position, navigation and timing solutions such as the quantum chip-scale systems we proposed to develop. Connected and autonomous vehicles are predicted to create a £100 Bn global market for resilient position, navigation and timing systems with £2.7Bn GVA to the UK economy (>23,400 direct and 14,600 indirect UK jobs) by 2035. This research is key underpinning work to enable that market by developing UK supply chains with industry for practical position, navigation and timing systems.

Quantum rotation sensors / gyroscopes have experimentally demonstrated drift stability performance 65 times better than optical gyroscopes with theoretical performance calculated to be 20,000 times better. Quantum accelerometers have experimentally demonstrated drift stability 4 orders of magnitude superior to classical accelerometers with hybrid systems also showing improvements of x80. At present these demonstrated quantum sensors are difficult to scale below 50 kg and something about the size of a washing machine. This project aims to take photonic integrated circuit and MEMS technologies to develop chip-scale atomic clocks, quantum rotation sensors / gyroscopes and quantum accelerometers to build much smaller and more practical quantum navigators that will have many applications and benefits to UK and global society.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk