Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Saudi researchers tap into quantum computing to design fuel efficient airplanes

From AI in public and personal spaces to 5G for superfast connectivity, the best in the world of tech has found takers in the Middle East with gulf nations leading the digital revolution. But the next big thing in the information age are quantum computers, which are up to 100 million times faster than the systems we currently use.

As the world tries to imagine the mind boggling processing power, tech giant Google has already created a quantum computer of its own, and one such machine is being built in Abu Dhabi as well. Since the future of computing is taking off towards speeding up innovation, Saudi Arabia’s researchers have also hitched a ride to use it for developing fuel efficient air transport.

The kingdom’s King Abdullah University has joined forces with American Quantum software startup Zapata, and the duo will use high speed data processing to design airplanes. Analysing how air flows over wings of an aircraft or the body of a car is currently a time consuming process, but an upgrade to futuristic computing capabilities promises to speed up the task.

After a year of being bogged down by a hiatus in global travel, the airline industry is looking for ways to increase productivity by burning less fuel. The emission cuts being adopted by every sector to tackle climate change, are also a factor behind the need to develop sustainable carriers.

With the world changing faster than ever, carmakers and aerospace firms can definitely use an extra thrust that’ll propel fuel efficiency in the aviation space. The partnership between KAUST and Zapata is just one of many cross border collaboration by Saudi Arabia to position itself as a quantum computing hub in the region.

It faces competition from UAE which is not only building its own quantum computing machine, but has also developed a crypto library to create a cybersecurity fortress fit for quantum computers.

Image: Shutterstock

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