US Army researchers have built a so-called “quantum sensor,” which can analyze the full RF spectrum and real-world signals, a report on Physics.org says. The quantum sensor — technically a Rydberg sensor — can sample the RF spectrum from 0 to 20 GHz and is able to detect AM and FM radio signals, as well as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other RF communication protocols. The peer-reviewed Physical Review Applied published the researchers’ findings, “Waveguide-coupled Rydberg spectrum analyzer from 0 to 20 Gigaherz,” coauthored by Army researchers David Meyer, Paul Kunz, and Kevin Cox.
“The Rydberg sensor uses laser beams to create highly excited Rydberg atoms directly above a microwave circuit, to boost and hone in on the portion of the spectrum being measured,” the article explains. “The Rydberg atoms are sensitive to the circuit’s voltage, enabling the device to be used as a sensitive probe for the wide range of signals in the RF spectrum.”
Cox, a researcher at the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Army Research Laboratory, called the development “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.”
Read more – via American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources http://www.arrl.org/news/view/quantum-receiver-can-detect-huge-swath-of-the-rf-spectrum