BASF, PASQAL to Use Quantum Computers For Weather Prediction

PRESS RELEASE — PASQAL, a full stack manufacturer of neutral atoms quantum processors, today announced a collaboration with BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, for weather and other computational fluid dynamics applications. BASF has begun to explore how PASQAL’s proprietary quantum algorithms could one day be used to predict weather patterns. The learnings from this project can build a foundation for future extensions of PASQAL’s methods to support climate modeling.

Physics-based weather models are highly complex as they incorporate data on winds, heat transfer, solar radiation, relative humidity, terrain topology, and many other parameters. Weather forecasting therefore requires solving complex sets of nonlinear differential equations. According to Hyperion Research, 5% of global high performance computing investments are focused on weather modeling. BASF uses parameters generated by the weather models to simulate crop yields and growth stages as well as to predict drift when applying crop protection products. They also form the basis of BASF’s digital farming product portfolio including xarvio FIELD MANAGER, an advanced crop optimization platform.

“PASQAL’s quantum solutions are ideal for simplifying BASF’s complex computational simulations once quantum hardware matures to a point where we can actually leverage these algorithms,” said Dr. John Manobianco, Senior Weather Modeler at BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. “Leveraging PASQAL’s innovation for weather modeling validates quantum computing’s ability to go beyond what can be achieved with classical high-performance computing. Such transformational technology can help us prepare for climate change impacts and drive progress toward a more sustainable future.”

PASQAL aims to solve the underlying complex nonlinear differential equations in a novel and more efficient way by implementing so-called quantum neural networks on its neutral atom quantum processors. The classical equivalent of this approach is physics informed neutral networks (PINN) which are used broadly by leading scientists and technology corporations in weather and climate modeling. For instance, NVIDIA recently announced its new Earth-2 AI supercomputer for climate prediction, which leverages PINNs.

“We’re honored to be selected by BASF, a world leader in the chemicals industry, to improve weather modeling through our quantum technology,” said Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO of PASQAL. “With climate change we are seeing more extreme weather patterns, which makes accurate and timely weather prediction increasingly more important for business and society. Joining forces with an important player like BASF is a step forward in learning how quantum computing can help monitor and mitigate the worst effects of global climate change.” Offering a broad range of quantum solutions across different industries, PASQAL’s customers include Johnson & Johnson, LG, Airbus, BMW Group, EDF, Thales, MBDA and Credit Agricole CIB.

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Matt Swayne

Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses.

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