Lockheed Martin signs Aerospace Concepts for first commercial quantum computing research agreement

Small High-Tech Powerhouse Aerospace Concepts to Work to Adapt Quantum Computer Technology for Commercial Applications

(MAY 7, 2014) – Today Lockheed Martin and Aerospace Concepts, an Adelaide-based complex systems engineering firm, announced a world-first commercial quantum computing research collaboration. Under the agreement, Aerospace Concepts will have access to Lockheed Martin’s revolutionary D-Wave Two™ quantum computer, introduced by Canadian start-up D-Wave Systems in 2012, to conduct applied research in complex systems analysis and work with commercial partners to introduce new optimization algorithms enabled by the machine.

During a ceremony at Lockheed Martin Australia’s NexGen Cyber Information and Technology Centre in Canberra, the two companies discussed how quantum computing will impact future Australian programs across defence, IT and health.

Quantum computing is a rapidly emerging technology with the potential to crack previously unsolvable challenges in mathematics and computer science. The practical applications of quantum computing range from drug discovery, understanding how environmental differences affect human health, analysing demographics to better understand consumer trends, rapidly verifying immense software libraries, and analysing markets and portfolios. D-Wave Systems has sold two quantum computers, one to Lockheed Martin in 2012 and another to a collaborative effort between Google and NASA in 2013.

Aerospace Concepts was selected by Lockheed Martin based on its expertise in managing large-scale complex projects and past experience designing high-fidelity modelling and simulation using systems using high-performance computing technology. Over the past decade, Aerospace Concepts has established itself as a leader in the systems engineering field by working to develop solutions for delivering internet to Antarctica, predictive safety analysis for where experimental hypersonic vehicles will land and assisting the Australian Department of Defence in preparing for its biggest acquisitions, including the Australian Navy’s new fleet of submarines.

Aerospace Concepts’ CEO, Shaun Wilson, explained “This agreement creates a direct relationship with Lockheed Martin’s corporate headquarters in the U.S. in an exciting new technology area, and builds on our already great working relationship with Lockheed Martin’s team in Australia. We’re excited to see what this new technology will add to our mainline complex systems engineering efforts.”

“We saw in Aerospace Concepts the technological expertise and systems engineering discipline, combined with creative, savvy and innovative ferocity, required to quickly grasp the power of quantum computing and deliver on the technology for our next-generation platforms” said Ned Allen, Chief Scientist at Lockheed Martin. “We are looking forward to seeing the impact Aerospace Concepts will have on our efforts to bring game-changing new technologies to fruition”

Aerospace Concepts has been growing rapidly based on investments in model-based systems engineering capabilities and relationships with international customers. The company has recently expanded its presence with offices in Washington D.C. and Hong Kong, and will now make quantum computing applications a feature of its offering to clients.

“Working with Lockheed Martin and utilizing the D-Wave Two™ quantum computer is a transformative opportunity not only for us, but for all our clients who face complex challenges,” said Wilson. “We are thrilled to be a part of the next computing revolution and will be working closely with our clients and partners to realize the potential this technology offers.”