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SRI International selected to participate in DARPA’s Quantum Apertures program

August 30, 2021

SRI International is excited to announce the institute is one of four teams selected to participate in Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Quantum Apertures (QA) program. The QA program’s goal is to develop portable and directional RF antennas and RF receivers with significantly greater sensitivity, bandwidth and dynamic range than any classical receiver available today.

SRI and other research teams will seek to address today’s antenna limitations by advancing the current state-of-the-art in quantum RF sensors – the Rydberg sensor. The QA program will address the significant technical challenges in realizing the Rydberg sensor’s potential.

“For DARPA Quantum Apertures, we developed and demonstrated a novel method to detect these lower radio frequencies that the customer sought to sensitively detect,” commented Kaitlin Moore, Research Physicist and program Principal Investigator within SRI’s Applied Physics Laboratory. “We showed that we could detect radio frequencies sensitively using our atomic antennas in a way that’s likely different from what everybody else is doing.”

One of the metrics the SRI team will be focusing on is the challenging RF transparency metric. Moore, together with Sterling McBride and Winston Chan, both prominent researchers within SRI’s Applied Physics Lab, will work to package these small sensors in a unique way, such that they reach that transparency metric.

“Besides the expertise that SRI brings to the program, we are teamed with world-leading collaborators to execute on this program, including NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and the Quantum Valley Ideas Lab,” said Moore. “SRI is looking forward to the future of DARPA’s Quantum Apertures program where we can develop these atomic receivers in an innovative way.”

The Quantum Apertures program is set to begin in the fall of 2021 and is expected to run for 54 months.

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