Engineering 101

USRA, Rigetti, and NASA Team Up for Phase 2 of the DARPA ONISQ Program

Universities Space Research Association (USRA) announced the beginning of operations for phase-2 of DARPA’s Optimization with Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum devices (ONISQ) program. Phase 1 launched in 2020, and USRA was selected to lead the “Scheduling Applications with Advanced Mixers” (SAAM) project with Rigetti Computing and, through DARPA, under DARPA-NASA, with the NASA Quantum AI Laboratory.

The project will use Rigetti Computing quantum processors, including the 80-qubit system, to increase quantum computing capabilities available to program variational quantum algorithms developed by the team. Each participating team is challenged to develop quantum optimization applications that will impact U.S. military capabilities in the future.

The collaboration has produced more than ten scientific papers, published or presented at international conferences or currently under review. The ONISQ program also is an important part of the tight collaboration of USRA with NASA under the NASA Academics Mission Service Contract NNA16BD14C.

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