A deep tech startup co-founded by three world-renowned nuclear physicists from the Australian National University has raised $12 million to develop miniature quantum sensors for mining, underground resources and navigation.
The round was led by existing investor Blackbird and backed by Right Click Capital.Last seed round raised $2 million and ANU joined the cap table
Nomad Atomics It is the result of research by co-founders Kyle Hardman, Paul Wigley, and Christian Fryer, world leaders in the quantum gravimetry/accelerometer program.
Gravity measurements measure the strength of the gravitational field. The best-known example of accelerometers is their use in smartphones to monitor device orientation and adjust screens.
Founded in 2020, the company’s startup is working towards commercializing a field-deployable quantum gravimeter and accelerometer. They plan to use the new capital to relocate from Canberra to Melbourne to expand Nomad manufacturing and operations.
At ANU, research by the Nomad team focuses on key aspects of building deployable sensors for defense, including building multi-field sensors, creating robust sensors, and supporting infrastructure for navigation systems. was guessing. This puts the trio at the forefront of deployable quantum systems.
Hardman, CEO of Nomad Atomics, said moving quantum technology from a lab environment to reliable operation in the field is difficult.
“We founded Nomad to meet this challenge. By developing robust sensors with reduced size, weight and power consumption requirements to enable real-world applications, we can We built the world’s first surveying absolute gravimeter, with all the hogging technology all in a self-contained 20x20x30cm box,” he said.
Nomad has already started working with major international companies across several markets including mineral exploration, mine monitoring, geodesy and utilities.
“There is great potential in these markets and we are seeing significant demand from companies in all sectors to use our sensors,” Hardman said.
COO Wigley said there is big, groundbreaking work ahead.
“This has never been done on a schedule like this in particular. We were able to get the smallest sensor ever,” he said.
“We truly believe that this new sensing hardware has the potential to change the way we see and interact with the world, and we are making it available to people outside the physics lab. It’s very exciting to help.”
The company’s proprietary quantum sensors will be used to solve the toughest sensing problems in some of the world’s largest industries, including resources, energy, defense and space.
Even with Nomad’s smallest target market, resource exploration, sensor improvements could be huge revenue for startups spending more than US$1 billion on gravity exploration as part of the US$50 billion resource mapping, monitoring and optimization industry. has the potential to
CTO Christian Freier explained: “The device will allow users to explore deeper and smaller deposits, enable high-resolution resource exploration from drones, enable more efficient and safer production from underground mines, and reduce hazards. By mapping and monitoring flow and charging in aquifer systems to prevent drought, by directly and cost-effectively monitoring the total mass of sequestered CO2, and by providing zero-drift and zero-bias accelerometers. Increase navigation certainty in GNSS denied scenarios. ”
The company plans to hire more than 20 new roles in the next phase, including expanding its field-ready sensor fleet, building two new prototype sensors focused on aircraft exploration and inertial navigation, and CO2 sequestration. including expansion into future markets such as and navigation.
Blackbird partner Niki Sevak said he has been helping deep tech startups since his early days at ANU.
“The founders Kyle, Christian and Paul are among the world’s top nuclear physicists, and their progress in building practical quantum sensors has been amazing,” he said.
“The future is bright for Nomad as we focus on innovative use cases that make underground mining safer.”