(NextGov) Army researchers produced a quantum sensor that can detect the complete radio spectrum—and pick up Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AM and FM radio and other communication signals on frequencies up to 20GHz.
The device could pave the way for next-level capabilities to support electronic warfare of the future, but not before more engineering- and physics-based work unfolds.
“This research still has many basic and foundational scientific questions to address before it’s ready to deploy to the field,” Paul Kunz, a researcher at the Army Research Laboratory reported.
“In this latest work, we’ve added another new important component: a specially designed waveguide circuit that concentrates the field under test and allowed us to greatly improve the sensitivity over all prior results,” Kunz said.
“This is a really important step toward proving that quantum sensors can provide a new, and dominant, set of capabilities for our soldiers, who are operating in an increasingly complex electromagnetic battlespace,” co-author Cox noted in the Army’s release.
The work meshes well with the military branch’s vision for high-tech modernization, but both collaborators emphasized that there’s more to be done before it’ll be fieldable.

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