(Optics.org) The integration of quantum sensors will require plenty of help from the photonics community, says John Burke, of DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office.
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the US Department of Defense responsible for the development of technologies for military use.
Field sensors of tomorrow will be able to use geodesy and quantum information to calculate, for example, how much water California is using at any given time. “The hardest part involves the lasers and detection techniques, and those are photonics systems basically,” Burke said. “Quantum information is the most exciting part,” he added.
A quantum sensor, he explained, is basically a box receiving excitation energy from an external field, with qubit controls to provide output. “How to achieve that is the question,” he said. New quantum sensors will make use of four-plus lasers to address various quantum states to a high degree of accuracy. The challenge for DARPA, Burke said, is “how to make things smaller. So far, we have been successful in doing so.”