U.S. Army to Leverage Quantum Sensing’s “Nonintuitive Properties.” Entanglement, wave-particle duality, superposition: These properties are key to quantum sensing. And the U.S. Army intends to leverage these properties for national defense applications.
“Quantum sensing uses some nonintuitive properties of nature to measure things like time, magnetic fields, gravity, or acceleration,” explains Paul Kunz, a scientist at the US Army Research Laboratory.
Position, Navigation, Timing. Cesium and rubidium are used for highly precise time keeping. “These nonintuitive properties have applications in timekeeping and positioning, since they are used for GPS. They are also used for magnetometers that can detect submarines or munitions.” Quantum sensors can also directly measure acceleration or rotation, which can be used to determine position in places where GPS is denied – but as yet these are still research efforts.pp
Quantum Light Sources. The research surrounding quantum light sources differs from other research as the studies are of the fundamental building blocks which could enable a number of potential technologies. “Some of the envisioned applications are related to quantum communication (highly secure communications), quantum simulation, and quantum computation.”
U.S. Army to Leverage Quantum Sensing’s “Nonintuitive Properties”
Rydberg Atom Research. Rydberg atoms are atoms capable of being excited to high energy levels. Used in electric field sensors, communication receivers, and other more exotic communication and sensing devices, ARL continues their research of these atoms. “In [the] instance with the Rydberg electric field sensor, we were initially interested in Rydberg atoms’ promise as a quantum repeater for transmitting quantum information over long distances, but through that work we realised their potential as a sensor for traditional classical information. So we began experiments to investigate, and are excited by the results and new possibilities that this could open up,” says Kunz.
Through the ARL research, we are “beginning to see how quantum technologies could provide dramatic results that could ultimately improve” field equipment with military applications.