Like the wheel, the steam engine or the Moon landings, the development of quantum technology is having a profound impact on our technological progress and our very future. Components and instruments that make use of quantum behaviour have become indispensable in industry and everyday life. They are used as transistors in our mobile phones and electrical devices, in LED displays or as the basis for lasers. Modern communications, data transmission and electronics in general would be inconceivable without the quantum behaviour of light. The first quantum revolution touched all our lives quite some time ago.
We are now at the start of a second quantum revolution. This includes quantum computing, which forms the focus of our research work. Quantum computers based on quantum bits can process colossal amounts of data in complex calculations or simulations that would take years with conventional computers. Potential areas of application range from AI and medicine to satellite operations, data transmission and fundamental research in physics and chemistry. Studies in this field can harness quantum effects for new technologies, from which whole new branches of industry could emerge.
At present, research into the technology is still in its early stages. At the German Aerospace Center (DLR), we are investigating various approaches to developing the field as part of the Quantum Computing Initiative and are collectively working towards one overarching objective: to create Germany's first operational, programmable quantum computer together with our partners. And that’s where YOU come in!
You can help shape the future for yourself and for all of us. Apply now!
What can DLR offer you?
DLR is pooling the expertise of industry partners, research groups and start-ups as part of the Quantum Computing Initiative, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The aim is to create partnerships and networks that can be harnessed to develop the first German quantum computer. The major innovation centres for the initiative are in Hamburg and Ulm, where the initiative partners work together. Exchanges with other consortia are taking place at the national and European levels.
The DLR-led initiative will develop hardware, software, applications and the necessary supply chains. In addition to the technologies that Germany is already pursuing in this field (atom or ion traps, superconducting circuits or other appropriate quantum systems qubits), the initiative is also looking to research complementary approaches.
DLR has already built up many years of experience in the field of quantum technologies. Researchers at the Institute of Quantum Technologies in Ulm and the Institute for Satellite Geodesy and Inertial Sensing in Hanover are currently investigating the very latest developments. Both institutes are involved in the Bose-Einstein Condensate and Cold Atom Laboratory (BECCAL) experiment, which is conducting basic research into quantum sensor systems on board the International Space Station.
Researchers based at the Galileo Competence Center at the DLR site in Oberpfaffenhofen are transferring their findings from research into quantum technologies, working alongside industry to bring their research to the commercial market for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).
Other DLR institutes have been working on software development and application analysis for quantum computers for many years, including the Institute for Software Technology and the Institute of Communications and Navigation. Areas of focus include post-quantum cryptography, quantum machine learning, planning optimisation for satellite operation and the simulation of chemical redox reactions for the development of battery systems. Such research projects are always geared towards application in industry.
Explore the participating DLR institutes and facilities
Apply here for jobs in quantum research!
Dr Karla Loida is the Strategic Project Manager for the DLR Quantum Computing Initiative