Royal Navy advances with GPS-free tech for superior sea navigation.

February 21, 2024
1 min read


  • The Royal Navy, in collaboration with scientists, is exploring quantum technology experiments for advanced navigation at sea.
  • Recent tests on the MOD cargo vessel, the Hurst Point, have shown promising results for GPS-free navigation using ultracold atoms.

The Royal Navy has collaborated with scientists to conduct quantum technology experiments for advanced navigation at sea. The Office for the Chief Technology Officer, in partnership with the University of Birmingham and the Dstl, has been working on quantum experiments to develop positioning and navigation tools for maritime use. The technology, which utilizes ultracold atoms to make precise measurements, has demonstrated the potential for GPS-free navigation, which would make it less susceptible to interference.

In recent sea trials conducted on the MOD cargo vessel the Hurst Point, the quantum navigation system was tested to evaluate its effectiveness in real-world conditions. By measuring the vessel’s vibration, motion, and acceleration, the team aims to lay the foundation for future quantum mechanics-based navigation systems. Quantum technologies have the potential to revolutionize traditional technology and provide new opportunities for the Royal Navy.

The project lead at the University of Birmingham expressed excitement about the potential of the technology to enhance the Navy’s capabilities. Building upon the UK’s National Quantum Technology Programme, the team plans to further refine the technology and explore its practical applications at sea. The Royal Navy’s CTO aims to leverage the country’s quantum research strengths to accelerate the development of quantum capabilities for maritime operations.

In conclusion, the collaboration between the Royal Navy, University of Birmingham, and Dstl on quantum technology experiments shows promising results for future GPS-free navigation systems at sea. The technology has the potential to revolutionize maritime navigation and enhance the Royal Navy’s operational capabilities.

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