A brand new Royal Navy warship has accomplished its first journey guided by lasers.
XV Patrick Blackett, a 270-tonne vessel constructed by Damen Group, travelled from Portsmouth to the Thames in mid-Could utilizing the cutting-edge navigation system.
Submarines presently depend upon “inertial navigation” techniques, however the Royal Navy ship relied on quantum physics.
The expertise has the potential sooner or later to supply GPS-free navigation, making it much less inclined to jamming, imitation or different sabotage.
Whereas many navigation techniques depend on international satellite tv for pc techniques, the quantum sensor is a brand new kind of accelerometer which measures how an object’s velocity adjustments over time.
By combining this info with rotation measurements and the preliminary place of the article, the present location might be calculated.
The quantum accelerometer makes use of ultracold atoms to make extremely correct measurements.
“We’re creating sensors with very, very low drift charges,” Dr Joseph Cotter, from Imperial Faculty London, informed The Occasions.
“In precept this could allow us to navigate a lot additional than current techniques.”
Commander Michael Hutchinson, Commanding Officer of XV Patrick Blackett, added: “Up to now, the testing has gone properly however the expertise continues to be in its very early levels.
“It is nice to be part of Royal Navy historical past.”
Whereas the ship is operated by a really lean crew of 5, there may be additionally a group of 25 army personnel, civil servants and contractors behind the scenes.
NavyX selected to call the ship XV Patrick Blackett to honour the British physicist who gained a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1948.
He served within the Royal Navy within the First World Struggle and made a serious contribution within the Second World Struggle advising on army technique and creating operational analysis – being named the Admiralty’s first director of Operational Analysis.