GPS has proven to be an important part of modern technology, be it a portable GPS or a car navigation or drones. However, there are many cases where GPS reception is not possible due to factors such as tall buildings blocking the signals that the GPS performs. The GPS can also be deliberately blocked or blocked, preventing it from functioning properly.
To find an alternative, the researcher at Imperial College London has developed a quantum "compass" that allows users to navigate without relying on satellites. Called "Autonomous Quantum Accelerometer", it is displayed at the National Quantum Technologies Showcase.
An accelerometer is a tool that can measure changes in object speed over time and is commonly used on smartphones. The location of an object can be determined if its starting position and speed are known. But the issue with accelerometers is that over time accuracy is also hampered without an external reference for recalibrating them. This also means that it is not a very good alternative where positioning specialism such as navigation is required.
The new quantum accelerometer, in turn, offers a high level of precision. It measures the movement of superheroes who are cooled to a point that begins to show quantum behavior: they are particles and waves.
Researchers examine the movements of individuals by creating a person interferometer – a tool that can measure the wave shift. This means that new tools can measure traffic through space in a very precise way.
However, the device is too large to fit in a small space, but it could be useful for ships and trains that require accurate navigation when the GPS is not available. The reason for the big size is the powerful lasers they need to get people cold enough for the accelerometer to work.
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