The new quantum sensor supports AM, FM, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other signals

Army researchers have built a quantum sensor that maintains a radio frequency spectrum from zero to

20GHz, and can also detect AM and FM radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other communication signals.

A Rydberg sensor uses laser beams to create highly excited Rydberg atoms just above the microwave circuit to magnify and sharpen a portion of the measured spectrum.

Rydberg atoms are sensitive to circuit voltage, which allows the device to be used as a sensitive probe for a wide range of signals in the RF spectrum.

Researchers excite rubidium atoms tohigh-energy Rydberg states. The atoms interact strongly with the electric fields of the circuit, which allows any signal entering the circuit to be detected and demodulated.

All previous demonstrations of atomic sensorsRydberg were able to perceive only small and specific regions of the radio frequency spectrum, but now for the first time our development works continuously over a wide frequency range.

Kevin Cox, Researcher with the United States Army Combat Development Command

A Rydberg spectrum analyzer can surpass the fundamental limitations of traditional electronics in sensitivity, bandwidth, and frequency range.

The researchers are planning additional developments to improve the signal sensitivity of the Rydberg spectrum analyzer in an effort to outperform existing current technologies.

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