QC4EO is a recent Φ-lab initiative established in collaboration with CERN. Quantum computing has the potential to improve performance, decrease computational costs and solve previously intractable problems in EO by exploiting quantum phenomena such as superposition, entanglement and tunnelling.
The initiative involves creating a quantum capability in ESA-ESRIN (Frascati) which will have the ability to solve the most computational demanding Earth observation problems by using Quantum Computing to support programmes such as Destination Earth and Copernicus. This collaboration will be extended to link the CERN Quantum Technology Initiative, which was announced in June 2020 by the CERN Director General, Fabiola Gianotti. Through this partnership, ESA and CERN will create new synergies, building on their common experience in big data, data mining and pattern recognition.