Scientific Results

Microwave quantum illumination using a digital receiver

Year: 2020

Authors: Barzanjeh S., Pirandola S., Vitali D., Fink JM.

Autors Affiliation: ‎IST Austria, A-3400 Klosterneuburg, Austria; Univ York, Dept Comp Sci, Deramore Lane, York YO10 5GH, N Yorkshire, England; MIT, Res Lab Elect, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA; Univ Camerino, Sch Sci & Technol, Phys Div, Camerino, MC, Italy; Ist Nazl Fis Nucl, Sez Perugia, Perugia, Italy; CNR INO, Florence, Italy; Univ Calgary, Inst Quantum Sci & Technol IQST, Calgary, AB, Canada

Abstract: Quantum illumination uses entangled signal-idler photon pairs to boost the detection efficiency of low-reflectivity objects in environments with bright thermal noise. Its advantage is particularly evident at low signal powers, a promising feature for applications such as noninvasive biomedical scanning or low-power short-range radar. Here, we experimentally investigate the concept of quantum illumination at microwave frequencies. We generate entangled fields to illuminate a room-temperature object at a distance of 1 m in a free-space detection setup. We implement a digital phase-conjugate receiver based on linear quadrature measurements that outperforms a symmetric classical noise radar in the same conditions, despite the entanglement-breaking signal path. Starting from experimental data, we also simulate the case of perfect idler photon number detection, which results in a quantum advantage compared with the relative classical benchmark. Our results highlight the opportunities and challenges in the way toward a first room-temperature application of microwave quantum circuits.


Volume: 6 (19)      Pages from: eabb0451  to: eabb0451

KeyWords: quantum optic; microwave
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb0451

Citations: 14
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