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Evanston, IL, United States

Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 98.99K | Year: 2009

Quantitative and visually intuitive information is critical to understanding, designing, and verifying the operation of any system. For instance, a vector signal analyzer allows a designer to gain an immediate understanding of a radio communications link by visualizing the transmission signal constellation. Additional analysis such as a calculation of the error vector magnitude can be performed in real time. Such tools are now an indispensable part of modern engineering methods. Quantum state tomography is a measurement tool which allows for complete characterization of quantum states. Truly quantum systems like networks of entangled states will need measurement tools that measure quantum signals (states) just as classical systems need measurement tools to measure classical signals. Although great progress has been made in tomography techniques, no commercial equipment currently exists. Advances in the field of quantum information are severely hampered because every development group must build their own tools including even basic measurement devices. It is the goal of this Phase-I SBIR to develop the component and systems technology to design a practical polarization-mode quantum state tomography system. We will pursue methods of making the signal acquisition and analysis as fast as possible to give the user a real-time feel. A prototype system will be built and characterized in Phase-II.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 98.97K | Year: 2009

Coherent light consisting of multiple-frequency combs is commonly used in metrology. Various methods of generating combs exist which are suited for different applications. Mode-locked lasers naturally output a train of phase-locked spectral lines and are a very simple way of generating a comb. These lasers do not operate in the continuous wave regime and the generated comb has very limited flexibility. Such features make mode-locked lasers ill suited for certain applications like differential absorption LIDAR or ranging. One interesting method for comb generation uses a frequency-shifting element to repeatedly shift re-circulating optical fields. The method has a rich set of operating modes, including the possibility for the comb frequencies to shift in time creating an effective chirp. However, the bandwidth and noise characteristics of the signal are limited by the Erbium-doped-fiber amplifiers used in the loop. Parametric nonlinearities can lead to a wide range of interesting effects such as phase-sensitive amplification which, unlike typical phase-insensitive amplifiers, can amplify a signal without adding noise. Other properties of parametric amplification can include the generation of additional frequency components, a huge gain bandwidth (>200nm) with engineerable spectral shape, and an ultrafast (sub-ps) response allowing nearly instantaneous control of the process. We propose to investigate the use of parametric amplification for generating agile optical frequency combs. We will combine techniques used in communications, sensing and standard optical comb generation to suggest possible designs and evaluate their use in real-world applications.


Reilly D.R.,NuCrypt LLC | Kanter G.S.,NuCrypt LLC
Optics Express | Year: 2014

High speed and high sensitivity time-of-flight lidar is demonstrated by judiciously choosing the repetition rates of a pulsed optical source and the gate rate of a GHz gated single photon detector. Sub-mm ranging can be performed in sub-ms time scales at low received powers. We also demonstrate a method to extend the unambiguous measurement range by simultaneously transmitting multiple optical pulse rates and measuring the return signal with a single detector. © 2014 Optical Society of America. Source


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.99K | Year: 2010

Quantum key distribution (QKD) is an exciting application of the quantum theory to the important real-world problem of secure communications. Specifically, QKD may allow for provably secure key distribution. These random keys can then be used either in a one-time-pad style encryption system (for absolute security at low rates) or a standard encryption system (for high security at high rates). Traditional means of distributing keys are not provably secure. The value of QKD thus rests in its unprecedented high level of security, so it is critical to maintain the integrity of the theoretical security advantage in any actual implementation. In practice, issues associated with non-ideal components used in protocol implementation, and with information leakage from the classical communication channel required between the legitimate users, can make it more difficult to guarantee security. They also reduce the key rate and the maximum key distribution distance. We propose to investigate a new protocol for QKD that reduces the burden on the classical communication channel leading to better efficiency and more security. We also investigate the use of emerging technologies for quantum state generation and detection which may also improve efficiency, reach, and security of the QKD systems. BENEFIT: The technologies investigated in this proposal have a direct use in practical and highly secure quantum key distribution systems. Such systems may benefit ultra-secure applications in the military, government, and the private sector. The sub-components developed have other applications in fields such as imaging, metrology, and quantum computation. For instance, we will be developing very fast single-photon detectors. Such detectors may be useful in a variety of applications including deep-space communications, optical instrumentation, laser ranging, and spectroscopy.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2010

Quantitative and visually intuitive information is critical to understanding, designing, and verifying the operation of any complex system. Measurement tools, such as vector signal analyzers which allow the visualization of radio frequency signal constellations, are now an indispensable part of modern engineering methods. There is intense interest in exploiting the special properties of quantum states for applications such as quantum communication and computing. However, the very properties of quantum states that make them useful also make them difficult to measure. Quantum state tomography is a measurement tool which allows for complete characterization of quantum states. Although great progress has been made in researching quantum tomography techniques, no commercial equipment exists and current demonstrations of the method tend to be slow, thereby providing little information about the quantum state drift over time. Advances in the field of quantum information are severely hampered because every development group must build their own tools including even basic measurement devices. It is the goal of this Phase-II SBIR to develop a real-time photonic quantum state tomography system. The prototype will measure both polarization-mode and time-mode signals at high speeds (~1s) and display the complex state information to the user in an intuitive way.

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