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Miniaturised systems for quantum technology

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Aquark Technologies is a spin-out of the University Southampton that provides portability and miniaturisation solutions for quantum technology applications. We benefit from more than a decade of research dedicated to building the world's smallest cold atom system, and following recent pre-seed investment, we have established our state of the art facility in Southampton, UK, dedicated to delivering our mission.


Bringing the next generation quantum technology out of the laboratory and into the real world for the benefit of humanity.

Aquark Technologies believes in developing technology for the betterment of the human condition. Our vision is to be the central world wide provider of a compact cold atom core that will enable the next generation of quantum sensing and computing.

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Press Release

30 January 2024

Aquark’s unique technique for generating cold atoms achieved by University of Birmingham

Southampton, UK, 30/01/2024: Scientists from the University of Birmingham have successfully tested a new technique for generating cold atoms, developed by Aquark Technologies. Aquark’s unique laser cooling method, which it refers to as Supermolasses, does not require an applied magnetic field. This will ultimately make cold matter platforms more portable and robust and therefore easier to use commercially. The tests at University of Birmingham are the first time that Supermolasses has been independently achieved and were carried out as part of an Innovate UK funded project, Gravity Array.

Gravity Array, funded by Innovate UK (Project: 10032699), is a collaboration between Aquark Technologies and the University of Birmingham and combines the ground-breaking “supermolasses” atom cloud generation with the expertise in quantum sensing of gravity at the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Timing. The project aims to deliver a unique new capability where, breaking with convention, a single laser and control system can be used to operate several low-power sensor heads – enabling sensors to be located in remote or harsh environments, while drastically reducing the cost of the overall monitoring activity. 

Working closely with Dr Chester Camm, Dr Alex Jantzen and Dr Andrei Dragomir at Aquark Technologies, the University of Birmingham team of Mr David Sedlak, Dr Sanaz Roshanmanesh, Dr Yu-Hung Lien and Prof. Michael Holynski were able to generate the first supermolasses not obtained by Aquark Technologies staff, successfully trapping atom clouds without applied magnetic fields.

The team are now continuing to characterise and independently assess the technique, before combining this with other approaches to realise a low-power sensor head with a plan for trials in late 2024. These aim to further demonstrate the Aquark Technologies’ Supermolasses technique and other innovations from the project in a practical setting, with a view to applications in areas such as border control, infrastructure and environment monitoring, covert monitoring, and energy. 

Aquark Technologies Co-Founder and CEO, Dr Andrei Dragomir, speaking about the project said: “Gravity Array is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Aquark as it demonstrates not only our strong desire to collaborate with the best, but also looks to utilise some of the new capabilities that makes our method of atom cloud generation unique and independently verify its benefits.”

Professor Michael Holynski, Principal Investigator of the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Timing  and project lead of the Gravity Array project from the University of Birmingham, added: “It is fantastic to see progress on techniques that have potential for reducing the cost of quantum sensor systems. This work, made possible by funding from Innovate UK as part of the National Quantum Technologies Programme, has achieved first steps in validating techniques that could reduce the electrical power and operational needs of quantum sensors. This progresses along the Hub roadmap towards distributed sensor networks over large areas for applications such as environmental monitoring and monitoring of remote or hazardous locations.”

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For further information, please contact:

Kate Grinnell, TFD (Think Feel Do) / +44 (0)7919 250766

About Aquark Technologies 
Aquark Technologies is a pioneering company dedicated to advancing the forefront of cold atom quantum technology, making quantum advancements more accessible and affordable. With expertise in vacuum technology, microfabrication, and laser system development, Aquark is committed to making cold atom systems more accessible and practical. 

About University of Birmingham
Founded in 1900, the University of Birmingham is a globally-ranked, world ‘top-100’ public research and teaching institution and a member of the prestigious Russell Group. The University is characterised by its tradition of research and innovation, both of which have resulted in major breakthroughs, furthering knowledge and improving people’s lives.

About Innovate UK
Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. We support business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. We help businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services, supported by an outstanding innovation ecosystem that is agile, inclusive, and easy to navigate.

About the UK Quantum Technology Sensors and Timing Hub
The UK Quantum Technology Sensors and Timing Hub aims to develop a range of quantum sensor and measurement technologies that are ripe for commercialisation by UK businesses, and, alongside this, it is also looking to train people working within the UK quantum technology community.

Quantum sensors have the potential to be cheaper, lighter, smaller, more sensitive and more energy-efficient than existing, classical sensors. Advances in this area have applications across the board, from healthcare to navigation, to archaeology and everything in between.

The Hub is actively pursuing research towards a range of application areas, with examples including magnetometry systems for brain health, gravity gradient sensors for inspection of underground infrastructure in civil engineering, quantum sensors for navigation, precision oscillators to enable advanced radar systems. 

The Hub is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as part of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.

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Press Release

25 October 2023

Aquark Technologies Demonstrates Airborne Cold Atom System on a Small Drone

Aquark Technologies has successfully demonstrated continuous trapping of cold atoms suitable for sensing while flying on a drone. The world first achievement will support an array of applications, including enhanced navigation, precise measurements, and situational awareness, all with the potential to revolutionize multiple industries.

Aquark Technologies recently conducted field trials validating the trapping, cooling, and continuous operation of cold atoms while airborne on a quadcopter drone. The trials were run in partnership and joint-funded by MBDA and Innovate UK (Project: 10028190) and flown by Wright Airborne Computing.

The entire system, weighing less than 10 kg, withstood freezing temperatures, high humidity fog, and complex manoeuvres, operating for over an hour on internal power during full-day trials.

Cold atom-based quantum technology leverages group one or two elements, such as Rubidium, in ultra-high vacuum conditions (>10-8 mbar) and precisely tuned lasers to confine and slow down atoms for the manipulation of quantum states of superposition and entanglement.

Cold atom-based quantum technology offer significant improvements for quantum computing and high-precision sensors, with implications for measuring: time, acceleration, electromagnetic waves, Magnetic fields, and rotation. Aquark’s unique and patented approach to trapping and cooling atoms without using magnetic fields makes these systems smaller, simpler, and more cost-effective.

Andrei Dragomir, CEO, Aquark Technologies commented: “These trials yielded invaluable real-world operational data for Aquark's platform technology and provided a transformational step towards off-the-shelf cold atom systems, from high-performance cold atom atomic clocks to gravimeters, with unprecedented precision and accuracy that will redefine the world of Quantum Technology.”

Marc Jones, Head of Innovation, MBDA UK Limited said, “Quantum technology holds the potential to be a breakthrough for defence. As MBDA looks towards the future of our products we believe that Aquark’s approach to cold atom quantum technology offers an exciting and compelling alternative to the current state of the art.” Further to this he added, “MBDA looks to build partnerships that deliver innovation and technical excellence. Identifying the latest technologies and emerging opportunities. With our partners, we look to build enduring relationships that improve our products and increase our worldwide competitiveness. Ultimately, delivering against our customers’ needs now and in the future.”

For media inquiries or further information, please contact: Alex Jantzen, Aquark Technologies:

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Aquark is happy to announce that following a successful ignition round, funding to establish our MVP has been obtained. In the coming months we will relentlessly pursue our goal of making the world's most compact cold atom trap capable of operating at low power, and is robust enough to leave the confines of the laboratory environment. 

Follow this space for the latest updates from Aquark Technologies.

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