Military researchers detect broadest frequencies ever with novel quantum receiver | Article

2023-04-03 12:24:45

Researchers use a Rydberg spectrum analyzer experimental apparatus at the DEVCOM Army Research Lab.

Researchers use a Rydberg spectrum analyzer experimental equipment on the DEVCOM Military Analysis Lab.
(Picture Credit score: U.S. Military)


ADELPHI, Md. – A brand new quantum sensor is able to analyzing the total spectrum of radio frequency and real-world indicators, unleashing new potentials for Soldier communications, spectrum consciousness and digital warfare.

Military researchers constructed the sensor, which may pattern the radio-frequency spectrum — from zero frequency as much as 20 GHz — and detect AM and FM radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and different communication indicators.

The Rydberg sensor makes use of laser beams to create highly-excited Rydberg atoms instantly above a microwave circuit, to spice up and hone in on the portion of the spectrum being measured. The Rydberg atoms are delicate to the circuit’s voltage, enabling the machine for use as a delicate probe for the big selection of indicators within the RF spectrum.

A Rydberg receiver and spectrum analyzer detects a wide range of real-world radio frequency signals above a microwave circuit including AM radio, FM radio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

A Rydberg receiver and spectrum analyzer detects a variety of real-world radio frequency indicators above a microwave circuit together with AM radio, FM radio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
(Picture Credit score: U.S. Military illustration)


“All earlier demonstrations of Rydberg atomic sensors have solely been in a position to sense small and particular areas of the RF spectrum, however our sensor now operates repeatedly over a large frequency vary for the primary time,” stated Dr. Kevin Cox, a researcher on the U.S. Military Fight Capabilities Growth Command, often known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory. “This can be a actually vital step towards proving that quantum sensors can present a brand new, and dominant, set of capabilities for our Troopers, who’re working in an more and more complicated electro-magnetic battlespace.”

The Rydberg spectrum analyzer has the potential to surpass basic limitations of conventional electronics in sensitivity, bandwidth and frequency vary. Due to this, the lab’s Rydberg spectrum analyzer and different quantum sensors have the potential to unlock a brand new frontier of Military sensors for spectrum consciousness, digital warfare, sensing and communications—a part of the Military’s modernization technique.

Researchers excite Rubidium atoms to high-energy Rydberg states. The atoms interact strongly with the circuit's electric fields, allowing detection and demodulation of any signal received into the circuit.

Researchers excite Rubidium atoms to high-energy Rydberg states. The atoms work together strongly with the circuit’s electrical fields, permitting detection and demodulation of any sign obtained into the circuit.
(Picture Credit score: U.S. Military illustration)


“Units which can be based mostly on quantum constituents are one of many Military’s prime priorities to allow technical shock within the aggressive future battlespace,” stated Military researcher Dr. David Meyer. “Quantum sensors normally, together with the one demonstrated right here, supply unparalleled sensitivity and accuracy to detect a variety of mission-critical indicators.”

The peer-reviewed journal Bodily Overview Utilized printed the researchers’ findings, Waveguide-coupled Rydberg spectrum analyzer from 0 to 20 GigaHerz, co-authored by Military researchers Drs. David Meyer, Paul Kunz, and Kevin Cox.

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The researchers plan further growth to enhance the sign sensitivity of the Rydberg spectrum analyzer, aiming to outperform current state-of-the-art know-how.

“Vital physics and engineering effort continues to be obligatory earlier than the Rydberg analyzer can combine right into a field-testable machine,” Cox stated. “One of many first steps will likely be understanding the right way to retain and enhance the machine’s efficiency because the sensor measurement is decreased. The Military has emerged as a number one developer of Rydberg sensors, and we anticipate extra cutting-edge analysis to end result as this futuristic know-how idea rapidly turns into a actuality.”

Visit the laboratory’s Media Center to discover more Army science and technology stories

DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory is a component of the U.S. Military Fight Capabilities Growth Command. Because the Military’s company analysis laboratory, ARL is operationalizing science to attain transformational overmatch. Via collaboration throughout the command’s core technical competencies, DEVCOM leads within the discovery, growth and supply of the technology-based capabilities required to make Troopers extra profitable at successful the nation’s wars and are available dwelling safely. DEVCOM is a serious subordinate command of the Army Futures Command

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