Île-de-France Quantum Pack: the Île-de-France region and its partners in aeronautics, space, defense explore the potential of quantum computing

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September 21, 2022

As part of the Quantum Pack (PAQ), launched at the end of 2020, the Île-de-France region is financing three new projects to explore the benefits of quantum computing for aeronautics, space and defense industries. This involves major industry players (Airbus, MBDA and Naval Group), leading academics (ONERA and Inria) and innovative technology companies, including PASQAL, to bring innovative solutions to industry-relevant use cases.

In partnership with Teratec, GENCI and the Quantum Lab, the Île-de-France Region is strengthening its leadership toward quantum advantage. The new initiatives have been launched in order to accelerate the implementation and development of quantum computing by key players, including promising start-ups, in the Île-de-France region and beyond.

Airbus, MBDA et Naval Group will benefit from the expertise of Alice & Bob, PASQAL and Quandela, three quantum computing startups. These innovative companies will receive funding from the Île-de-France region to demonstrate the potential of their quantum technologies on use cases shared by Airbus, MBDA et Naval Group, with a focus on digital simulation codes that consume particularly high amounts of computing resources.

The first project of the Quantum Pack is led by PASQAL and ONERA, the French national aerospace research center. Coming from Airbus, it focuses on analyzing airflow around an aircraft and aerodynamic forces acting on its surface. It is called “Quantum Advantage for Solving Partial Differential Equations” (AQUAEDP). On current High Performance Computing solutions, similar computations take hours or even days. PASQAL’s neutral atoms quantum computers offer an opportunity to drastically reduce these durations.

PASQAL will address this use case with a hybrid classical-quantum method, and will also significantly improve the accuracy of the results. PASQAL’s algorithms for this use case are based on quantum neural networks (QNN). They will be run on a 100-qubit analog quantum computer, which will be made available to researchers very soon, via the national HQI platform.

According to Marc Morere, Airbus Research & Innovation Manager, “this initiative will allow Airbus to drastically improve the accuracy of its models”, while “offering ONERA the opportunity to build upon this new know-how in the field of quantum computing”, said Alain Refloch and Julie Amoyel, respectively HPC Project Manager and Corporate Communication Manager.

“By combining the expertise of Airbus and ONERA in aeronautics, with ours in quantum computing using our proprietary solvers for differential equations, we collectively leverage decisive tools for aerospace and aeronautics,” said Benno Broer, Chief Commercial Officer of PASQAL.