The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has picked research teams that will work on a program aimed at developing quantum-assisted radio frequency antennas that have better sensitivity, bandwidth and dynamic range for defense applications.
The agency said Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, ColdQuanta and SRI International will lead the Quantum Apertures program participants in creating portable and directional antennas that leverage quantum techniques to enable a shift in spectrum sensing.
Efforts will focus on addressing technical challenges in Rydberg sensor, the military’s current quantum RF sensor, and demonstrating its use as part of a receiver system. The resulting technology is expected to be capable of directionally receiving low intensity, modulated RF signals and operating from 10 MHz to 40 GHz, or more spectral range.
“Recent demonstrations of Rydberg atomic sensors have shown that it’s possible to access large portions of the RF spectrum, but QA aims to go beyond those efforts by continuously connecting these demonstrations across the spectrum,” said John Burke, the program manager leading the QA program.
The selected team will begin research work in Fall 2021. The QA program has four phases and a 56-month expected performance duration.