Hedgefog Research Inc. (HFR) proposes to develop an Opto-Atomic Quantum Squeezer (OAQS) generating squeezed states of light resonant to a target atomic transition. Squeezed light offer exciting new opportunities in the field of quantum metrology, but available light sources delivering these exotic quantum properties are often bulky, complex, and highly susceptible to environmental perturbations and thus, not suitable for field applications. In addition, most squeezed light sources do not operate near an atomic resonance and do not offer strong light-atom interaction. HFR’s OAQS will be a high-power quantum light source packaged in a low size, weight, and power (SWaP) unit compatible with operation on NASA’s aerospace platforms. In Phase I, HFR will design system components of OAQS, evaluate their performance in squeezed light generation, and down-select key components and enabling technologies for future development. We will also conduct a preliminary design of the fully-packaged OAQS prototype.
Quantum states of light, such as entangled photons and squeezed light, are one of the key enabling ingredients in a number of applications associated with quantum sensing, quantum communication, and quantum computation. Narrow-band, resonant entanglement/squeezing source will enable an efficient, on-demand interaction between photons and atomic ensembles, which will enhance sensitivities of atom-based quantum sensors and make it possible to preserve/store quantum properties of squeezed light in atomic media.
Quantum metrology, taking advantage of quantum mechanical behavior of quantum particles, is expected to significantly boost sensitivity of various sensor modalities used in numerous applications, including inertial sensing, time keeping, EM-field sensing, and gravity sensing. Squeezed light sources allow to fully exploit quantum-mechanical nature of atoms and ions in these applications.