Microwave quantum illumination

Shabir Barzanjeh, Saikat Guha, Christian Weedbrook, David Vitali, Jeffrey H. Shapiro, Stefano Pirandola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

359 Scopus citations


Quantum illumination is a quantum-optical sensing technique in which an entangled source is exploited to improve the detection of a low-reflectivity object that is immersed in a bright thermal background. Here, we describe and analyze a system for applying this technique at microwave frequencies, a more appropriate spectral region for target detection than the optical, due to the naturally occurring bright thermal background in the microwave regime. We use an electro-optomechanical converter to entangle microwave signal and optical idler fields, with the former being sent to probe the target region and the latter being retained at the source. The microwave radiation collected from the target region is then phase conjugated and upconverted into an optical field that is combined with the retained idler in a joint-detection quantum measurement. The error probability of this microwave quantum-illumination system, or quantum radar, is shown to be superior to that of any classical microwave radar of equal transmitted energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number080503
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 27 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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