NASA STTR 2021-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
21-2- T5.04-1614
Phase 1 Contract #:
Subtopic Title:
Quantum Communications
Proposal Title:
Quantum-memory Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (QWDM)
Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover MA  01810 - 1077
Phone: (978) 689-0003
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (at Urbana-Champaign)
SPA, 1901 S. First Street, Suite A
IL  61820 - 7406
Phone: (217) 333-2187

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Dr. Christopher Evans
20 New England Business Center Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 738-8159

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Dr. William Marinelli
20 New England Business Center Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 738-8226
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 3
End: 5
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) will develop integrated optical frequency shifters to enable Quantum-memory Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (QWDM). Our approach will enable the connection of multiple quantum memory registers across a free-space or fiber optical channel, increasing the bandwidth of near-term quantum networks by 10–100x. As most optical quantum memories operate at a single wavelength we cannot readily apply wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) techniques to increase the bandwidth of a quantum link. To overcome this challenge, we utilize high-efficiency frequency shifters at the transmitter to shift each quantum register within a memory unit onto a separate wavelength channel that we can combine using standard WDM techniques. After transmitting the multiplexed signal over a free-space or fiber link, a complimentary device at the receiver will de-multiplex the photons and a second set of frequency shifters will shift the wavelengths back to original native frequency of the quantum memory’s register. These devices will pave the way for the creation of a highly scalable quantum networks using QWDM.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

The development of quantum communications and networks are a key technology to enable secure communication, sensor arrays, and quantum computer networks. Our proposed technology will enable wavelength-division multiplexing techniques to greatly increase the bandwidth of NASA’s free-space or fiber quantum links, such as those interfacing quantum memories as well as heterogeneous single- and entangled-photon sources.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Future quantum networks will require quantum memories (QM) that are linked by photons transmitted over physical channels. As most QMs utilize a fixed optical frequency, QWDM are a general-purpose component to scale bandwidth without introducing additional physical channels. Such frequency conversion methods are applicable to photons from QMs, as well as the sources of the photons themselves.

Duration: 24

Form Generated on 09/07/2022 16:36:23