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IonQ and DESY Research Highlights Quantum’s Potential Benefits for Airport Flight Gate Optimization

Airport

Insider Brief

  • IonQ announced early results that suggest quantum computer may be a more effective solution than traditional classical computing at managing gates at a bustling airport.
  • The company worked with Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) to run combinatorial optimization problems on IonQ Aria.
  • The teams plan to run future algorithms on IonQ Forte and IonQ Tempo.

PRESS RELEASE — IonQ (NYSE: IONQ), a leader in the quantum computing industry, today announced early results from its work with Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) – a German-based research center for fundamental science – to run combinatorial optimization problems on IonQ Aria. The results demonstrate quantum computing’s potential as a more effective solution than traditional classical computing when tackling equations with multiple variables in a dense environment, such as a bustling airport.

IonQ collaborated with researchers from DESY to explore how to better match inbound and outbound flights at airport gates. Specifically, IonQ and DESY were interested in reducing the time travelers spent going from arrival to departure gates and the time planes sat idle at gates before taking off again, while also increasing the number of planes serviced per day at a gate. The novel approach used ‘logarithmic-linear encoding’ to execute flight-gate optimization algorithms on IonQ Aria. In an illustrative example, the team showed how to best cycle nine flights through four gates (up to 36 variables in total) on IonQ Aria. IonQ expects to run future algorithms on IonQ Forte and IonQ Tempo, processing equations sufficient enough to cover the optimization needs of a local European airport.

“The results of our work with DESY are indicative of the real-world value quantum computers can deliver when addressing optimization problems that factor dozens of variable scenarios,” said Peter Chapman, CEO and President of IonQ. “Optimization problems are ubiquitous across all industries, including manufacturing, logistics, finance, pharma, and more. Quantum computing presents a huge opportunity for businesses to innovate across this problem space and remain at the forefront of innovation, tackling problems once deemed unsolvable.”

“We are pleased by the initial results we’re seeing in running quadratic assignment problems across IonQ’s quantum hardware and our collaboration with the IonQ team,” said Dr. Karl Jansen, the head of the Center for Quantum Technology and Applications (CQTA) at DESY. “The learnings gathered here can easily apply to other research and industries where the presence of multiple variables creates too complex of a problem for classical systems to handle.”

A preprint explaining IonQ and DESY’s research is available here, with the final report expected to be published in the coming months, and a summary of these results is available on IonQ’s blog here.

These research results mark the latest effort by IonQ to support the development of quantum applications for the airline industry. In 2022, IonQ and Airbus partnered on a project to develop smarter algorithms based on quantum computers to achieve cost savings due to more efficient cargo loading and distribution. Additionally, Hyundai Motors and Thompson Machinery have partnered with IonQ to develop quantum applications for use cases like image recognition in autonomous vehicles and predictive maintenance for construction machinery.

If you found this article to be informative, you can explore more current quantum news here, exclusives, interviews, and podcasts.

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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. [email protected]

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The Future of Materials Discovery: Reducing R&D Costs significantly with GenMat’s AI and Machine Learning Tools

When: July 13, 2023 at 11:30am

What: GenMat Webinar

Picture of Jake Vikoren

Jake Vikoren

Company Speaker

Picture of Deep Prasad

Deep Prasad

Company Speaker

Picture of Araceli Venegas

Araceli Venegas

Company Speaker

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