Inside Quantum Technology

UCalgary Researcher Developing a Quantum Radar Prototype Utilizing Quantum Entanglement

(Science.U.Calgary) A research group in the Institute for Quantum Science and Technology (IQST) led by Dr. Shabir Barzanjeh, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy who recently joining UCalgary from IST Austria, plans to continue research inventing a quantum radar prototype that uses quantum entanglement to detect objects.
The new application utilizes quantum entanglement to improve radar sensitivity.
A radar receiver becomes less sensitive, and therefore less accurate, when it picks up too much noise — random, usually unwanted signals. Dubbed “microwave quantum illumination,” the device prototype uses entangled microwave photons (generated cryogenically at a temperature of -273 Celsius) as a method of detection. Known as a ‘quantum radar’, it is able to detect objects in “noisy” thermal environments, giving it an advantage over more classical radar systems.
Proof of the feasibility of ‘quantum radar’ represents one of the most significant changes to radar technology in decades. While Barzanjeh says the technology is in the very initial stages, it could have a number of potential applications in different areas, such as biomedical and security.
This radar could be used for improved MRIs, for detecting certain cancers, or for implanted sensors to detect results quickly and accurately. “This is a short-range radar and has a number of limitations due to the special cryogenic conditions we need to generate the entangled photons,” he explains. “But the technology could work very well for short-range applications like detecting biological samples.”

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