Quantum-enhanced sensing promises to improve the performance of sensing tasks using nonclassical probes and measurements that require far fewer scene-modulated photons than the best classical schemes, thereby granting previously inaccessible information about a wide range of physical systems. We propose a generalized distributed sensing framework that uses an entangled quantum probe to estimate a scene-parameter encoded within an array of phases, with a functional dependence on that parameter determined by the physics of the actual system. The receiver uses a laser light source enhanced by quantum-entangled multipartite squeezed-vacuum light to probe the phases and thereby estimate the desired scene-parameter. The entanglement suppresses the collective quantum vacuum noise across the phase array. We report simple analytical expressions for the Cramér-Rao bound that depend only on the optical probes and the physical model of the measured system, and we show that our structured receiver asymptotically saturates the quantum Cramér-Rao bound in the lossless case. Our approach enables Heisenberg limited precision in estimating a scene-parameter with respect to total probe energy, as well as with respect to the number of modulated phases. Furthermore, we study the impact of uniform loss in our system and examine the behavior of both the quantum and the classical Cramér-Rao bounds. We apply our framework to examples as diverse as radio-frequency phased-Array directional radar, beam-displacement tracking for atomic-force microscopy, and fiber-based temperature gradiometry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy