(MilitaryAerospace) Scientists with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Md., say they recently made a significant breakthrough in quantum electronic warfare.
Using laser beams to create excited Rydberg atoms, Army researchers say they built a quantum sensor to detect the complete radio frequency spectrum. The findings, published in the Physical Review Applied, show the Rydberg sensor can pick up Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AM and FM radio, and other communications signals on frequencies as high as 20 GHz.
Although more engineering and physics work is necessary, the device has the potential to unleash new potentials for military communications, spectrum awareness, and quantum electronic warfare (EW).
Ultimately, researchers say a fully developed Rydberg sensor will lead to a powerful new form of quantum electronic warfare, whereby instruments for the first time would be able to detect the entire radio spectrum.
“Quantum sensors in general, including the one demonstrated here, offer unparalleled sensitivity and accuracy to detect a wide range of mission-critical signals,” said Army researcher and co-author on the Rydberg sensor study, Dr. David Meyer.