Quantum Computing Inc. Receives Third NASA Subcontract Award

Quantum Computing Inc. a first-to-market nanophotonic-based quantum technology company, today announces a subcontract award from Bay Area Environmental Research Institute (BAERI) to build and test for NASA Ames an innovative photonic sensor instrument to provide accurate measurement of atmospheric particulates such as clouds, aerosols, smoke flume, volcanic ashes, etc., in order to identify physical properties including size, shape and chemical composition. This award represents the third distinct task order from NASA and is the second research center within NASA to subcontract with the Company. Delivery of the photonic sensor is expected during the first quarter of 2024.

QCi, through its wholly owned federal contracting subsidiary, QI Solutions, will perform this work under a subcontract from BAERI. BAERI is a scientist-founded non-profit research institute, headquartered within NASA facilities, and dedicated to promoting and enabling scientific research in atmospheric and space sciences. The objective of the project is to build and test a new photonic sensor instrument that can provide a more accurate measurement of scattering when laser light travels through clouds and aerosols than is possible with existing instruments. Under the nine-month subcontract, QCi will deliver a compact system, programmed to process a substantial amount of data that can support standalone operations for days, and designed to be powered by a 12-volt battery that consumes no more than 30 watts of power. In addition, QCi will generate reports that will detail the operation of the system in a realistic environment, provide the range of parameters and offer predictive analyses on future enhancements with a possible long-term objective to position these instruments for field deployment to create a monitoring network.

Dr. William McGann, QCi Chief Technology Officer commented, “This proposed instrument includes innovations in both optical systems and in the physics principles behind the measurement concept. Current state-of-the-art instruments use optical components that have existed for many decades and are big and clumsy. The proposed instrument will use state-of-the art optical components developed in the quantum optics community, to measure the optical properties (extinction coefficient and backscatter coefficient) of clouds and aerosols at multi-wavelengths. We use the optical property data to derive physical properties (particle size, cloud water content, particle number concentrations) and the chemical composition of clouds and aerosols (smoke, fog, gas). This approach is expected to be a significant improvement over existing instruments because it will measure both forward and backward scattering and multiple forms of polarization simultaneously. The benefits of this instrument are considerable, producing far greater accuracy in situ measurements of cloud and aerosol extinction coefficients from aircrafts.”

Dr. McGann added, “Once fully commercialized, market applications are numerous. In the industrial domain, the technology could play a big role in gas emission monitoring, petroleum processing, chemical and fertilizer manufacturing. In the civilian domain, it could help fire fighting, pollution monitoring, and weather forecasting. For defense, the photonic sensor could be used for battlefield assessment, particularly in areas of gas detection. Consistent with all the Company’s products available today and planned for in the future, QCi systems are built for easy, scalable, and versatile use with favorable size, weight, power, and cost combined with increased connectivity and capacity, decreased training bias, and strengthened security.”

“This is our third distinct task order from NASA in four months and it highlights our ability to leverage QCi’s core proprietary photonic capability across a range of products.  In the case of NASA, we were contracted to deliver three capabilities to two different NASA research centers. Our first two engagements contracted earlier this year with NASA Langley Research Center located in Virginia afforded us the opportunity to showcase our powerful and highly secure photonic LiDAR as well as our reservoir computing capability. We were tasked to deliver LiDAR that demonstrated improved measurement and data processing proficiencies, which in combination with reservoir computing produces high-ranging spatial resolution and image fidelity at great distances through challenging environment conditions.  In this new engagement with NASA Ames located in Silicon Valley, we will apply QCi’s photonic laser technology to identify the composition of particles with much higher spatiotemporal resolution in their natural positions in the atmosphere,” commented Sean Gabeler, President of QI Solutions.

“NASA’s Ames Research Center, one of ten NASA field centers, conducts world-class research and development with core expertise in aeronautics, astrobiology, lunar exploration technology and science. The center employs over 2,300 research personnel and has an annual budget of $860 million.  We are eager to begin work with such a distinguished world-renowned group.” Mr. Gabeler continued, “The compensation we receive from these engagements to develop unique product applications provides the roadmap for future large-scale deployment to assist NASA and forms the basis for creating prospective potential commercial opportunities and future product launches for QCi.”