Connects decision-makers and solutions creators to what's next in quantum computing

Event showcased Rolls-Royce project to safely operate a nuclear generator on the Moon

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

February 21, 2024

2 Min Read
The Earth as seen from the moon
Rolls-Royce is using quantum simulation to test the feasibility of nuclear generator on the Moon. Getty

Some of the world’s best-known companies showcased the solutions to real-life problems they are developing with today’s relatively low-powered noisy, intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) computers at a recent event.

The Quantum Technology Access Program (QTAP) showcase in London featured quantum use cases supporting the energy, infrastructure, supply-chain management and engineering sectors.

QTAP is part of the Innovate U.K.-funded project Quantum Data Centre of the Future program that endeavors to embed a quantum computer within a classical data center to explore real-world access to quantum technology. It also helps companies trial novel use cases, to demonstrate the potential for quantum technology to transform critical parts of the U.K. economy.

The businesses offered first-hand glimpses into the quantum future at the event, broadly split into two main categories of quantum applications: optimization and simulation.

Six companies shared their experience of using quantum computers and simulators to solve optimization problems. These were logistics startup Bahut, risk management company DNV Services, consultancy Frazer-Nash, design and engineering services company Arup, Port of Dover and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

The companies participating in the quantum simulation section were aerospace international Airbus, satellite monitoring startup Neptune Newspace, fusion technology company Oxford Sigma,  submarine propulsion systems specialist Rolls-Royce Submarines and maritime intelligence company Seer BI.

Related:Airbus, Rolls-Royce, UK Atomic Energy Authority Join Quantum Program

Rolls-Royce Sets Sights on Nuclear Power on the Moon

Using its experience in powering nuclear submarines, Rolls-Royce aims to build small, autonomous nuclear reactors that could operate safely in remote mining colonies and eventually on the moon and Mars. The company used data from the Fukushima nuclear event to investigate the feasibility of a quantum machine learning model to quickly identify potentially hazardous situations. This would enable the reactor to operate safely and be shut down, if necessary, with minimum human involvement.   

Rolls Royce Submarines principal innovation engineer Chris O'Leary described how he found the Fukushima dataset and used it to develop a quantum algorithm that could detect the types of aberrations.

Digital Catapult senior quantum computing technologist Daniel Goldsmith explained: “The thinking behind it is that this might provide evidence that quantum machine learning can investigate a larger solution space. It could identify things that are invisible to classical computers. In quantum computing the gate operations are trigonometric functions, so it could also potentially detect correlated signals or periodic patterns.”

The event followed a recent announcement of a $57 million investment by the U.K. Government to boost the quantum ecosystem and drive breakthroughs in quantum technologies including brain scanners, navigation systems and quantum computing.

About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

Sign Up for the Newsletter
The most up-to-date news and insights into the latest emerging technologies ... delivered right to your inbox!

You May Also Like