Q-CTRL to manufacture remote sensing technology for space


Professor Michael Biercuk, University of Sydney quantum physicist and Q-CTRL CEO.

Q-CTRL, a University of Sydney spin-off quantum technology company, will develop quantum technology solutions to be used for near earth observation and remote sensing. 

As Australia’s first venture-capital-backed quantum technology company, Q-CTRL was awarded $4.5 million by the federal government to expand the manufacture of novel remote sensing payloads for space deployment. 

Q-CTRL was created in 2017 by School of Physics’ Quantum Control Laboratory director, Professor Michael Biercuk, based in the Sydney Nanoscience Hub. 

The company provides solutions for the quantum technology industry to improve the stability of quantum hardware. 

It characterises and controls quantum errors in quantum computers, which has led to the development of unique sensing technology at the quantum scale. This technology has up to 500x improvements in performance in real environments. 

This technology will allow the company to play an important role in Australia’s growing space industry, by producing remote sensing payloads in space deployments. 

The federal government is supporting Australian space manufacturers to grow and seize opportunities to expand into global supply chains via the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI), which provided Q-CTRL with its funding. 

“This Modern Manufacturing Initiative project is a great example of how the team at Q-CTRL is translating decades of science into a valuable business, focused on building the most advanced remote sensing technology in the world,” Biercuk said. 

“We’re excited to begin building a new type of quantum-enhanced sensor for magnetic fields compatible with operation in space. 

“This will give us a new set of eyes on the Earth to directly improve mining productivity and give defence a totally new tool for gathering geospatial intelligence.” 

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