Quantum Sensing – Digital Nova Scotia – Leading Digital Industry

Quantum Sensing

We are seeking pre-commercial innovative prototypes that can be tested in real life settings and address a variety of priorities within the Government of Canada.

Problem statement

Quantum technologies are at the cutting edge of science and innovation, both in Canada and worldwide. As an enabling platform, quantum is leading to a new suite of technologies in computing, sensors, secure communications and advanced materials. These technologies will support the growth of key sectors such as computing, communications, health care, transportation, logistics, navigation and aerospace.

Quantum sensing technologies are of particular interest to the Government of Canada (GoC) in a range of theatres. There is interest in high-resolution imaging applications in a variety of theatres such as health and pharmaceutical, mining, and aviation and aerospace. The Government of Canada is interested in leveraging the recent advances in increased sensitivity and decreased costs of magnetic sensors, to enhance the magnetic sensing capabilities within the GoC. The Government of Canada are also interested in both short-range and long-range navigation tools in GPS-denied environments. While quantum radar is at this point principally a speculative technology, we are also interested in testing the components that could one day bring the technology from concept to application.

Overall, the limits of quantum sensing and metrology become overlooked as we are seeing quantum sensing technologies in the higher Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). The GoC faces a challenge in understanding these limits to inform quantum sensor developments. This in turn contributes to the limited exploration and development of quantum sensing technologies for its applications in medical, aerospace, mining, navigation, meteorological, chemistry, and smart materials and technologies. ISC is soliciting proposals in search of a variety of quantum solutions that can assist the GoC in the development and eventual application of quantum sensing technologies within its operations.


Quantum sensors: A quantum-enabled technology used to measure a physical quantity, relying on either:

  • quantum-level measurement (e.g. single-photon detection);
  • quantized systems, (e.g. as atomic systems);
  • quantum coherence (e.g. quantum interference); or
  • quantum entanglement (non-local or strong correlations).
  • Quantities of interest include electric or magnetic fields, precise timing, temperature, and chemical or biological processes.

Quantum Radar: There are many proposed protocols to leverage quantum effects to provide advantages in imaging over traditional radar in high noise or stealth environments. Ultimately, ISC wants to explore the ability to achieve an effective range of 1km to 10km to detect a variety of objects. Additionally, remote quantum sensing for ranged chemical detection is of interest. If proposing a quantum radar technology or component, it is not necessary for suppliers to propose a complete quantum radar system.

Quantum magnetometers: An instrument for measuring the intensity and/or direction of magnetic fields, by utilizing quantum phenomena. Quantum magnetometers are used primarily to measure the intensity and/or direction of weak magnetic fields, particularly the earth’s magnetic field and its anomalies, both on the surface and at great altitudes, and also to measure the magnetic fields of planets within our solar system and in outer space. They are also used in prospecting for minerals, for magnetic core sampling, and in searching for sunken vessels.


Innovations must meet at least ONE outcome to qualify under SC4 and up to FOUR to score full points under PR7

  • Quantum technologies or components with potential for eventual application in any one or all of the following fields: defence, public safety, mining, navigation, weather forecasting and environmental, healthcare, pharmaceutical, chemical, and/or advanced manufacturing industries (automotive, aerospace, electronics, superconductors).
  • Quantum sensing hardware, software or supporting equipment that is in the prototype stage and ready for operational testing using commercially available infrastructure.
    Hardware solutions including but not limited to quantum sensors; superconducting quantum circuits and CQED solutions.
  • Quantum radar software or hardware components including but not limited to microwave photon detectors, microwave entangled photon sources, photon imaging and lidar technologies, and quantum active and passive sensing technologies.
  • Quantum-enhanced magnetometers to detect underwater objects from the air and underwater, and to map surface magnetic fields. This includes technologies for submarine detection and underwater warfare using magnetic sensing.
  • Quantum enabling technologies such as cryogenic refrigeration technology and single-photon spectrometers.
    Inertial navigation sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes enhanced using quantum technologies to lower the cost, size, weight and power and increase performance.

ISC will NOT accept (out of scope):

  • Post-quantum cryptography or quantum-safe communication solutions.
  • Quantum key distribution (QKD) solutions.

Response Deadline

July 6, 2022


June 15, 2022 - July 6, 2022

Contact for Offer

Innovative Solutions Canada


Supporting Document