Now, it’s time for Coherence, the quantum executive summary, where I take a moment to highlight some of the business impacts we’ve discussed today in case things got too nerdy at times. Let’s recap.
With about 30 dedicated quantum staff and the ability to rotate additional experts on a per project basis, Boeing contains one of the larger QIS teams in the industry. Combined with their dedication to education, Boeing sounds like a fertile breeding ground for quantum innovation, and they’re even hiring.
What is this team bringing to the skies? For starters, they’ve developed a practical use for quantum sensing. When GPS is unavailable or degraded, another device, based on inertial navigation, helps pilots know their plane’s location in real time. Quantum sensing will enable a more accurate version of this device with accelerometers and gyroscopes that measure the motion of atoms. Quantum networking will also connect the world, and Boeing’s exploring how to network and deploy quantum sensors in quantum computers. They’re trying to understand the constraints in these early days before they roll out actual quantum networks.
On the quantum computing side, Boeing has been working on material designs for about three years. It’s a different kind of optimisation problem that looks to optimise how composite materials are laid out to create structures that satisfy needs, such as flexibility or strength. Corrosion is also a significant concern for planes expected to fly for many years or decades, and quantum computers may help solve some parts of chemistry problems in calculations involved in preventing corrosion. There may also be ways to simulate potential future damage to coatings and materials using quantum computers.
Boeing has a terrific view of quantum advantage, considering practical advantage rather than benchmark advantage. If a step in the process becomes fast enough on quantum to show an edge overall, it’s a win. They know it’s a long game, and they are no strangers to products with multidecade time frames and life cycles.
That does it for this episode. Thanks to Jay Lowell for discussing the exciting projects underway at Boeing, and thank you for listening. If you enjoyed the show, please subscribe to Protiviti’s The Post-Quantum World, and leave a review to help others find us. Be sure to follow me on all socials @KonstantHacker. You’ll find links there to what we’re doing in Quantum Computing Services at Protiviti. You can also DM me questions or suggestions for what you’d like to hear on the show. For more information on our quantum services, check out protiviti.com, or follow ProtivitiTech on Twitter and LinkedIn. Until next time, be kind, and stay quantum-curious.