Particle physics research

NRL Announces Washington Metropolitan Quantum Network Research Consortium (DC-QNet) > United States Navy > News

Quantum networks, an emerging research frontier, will one day provide the ability to securely distribute and share quantum information between quantum computers, quantum sensor clusters, and related devices at regional and national distances. They can also be used to distribute ultra-precise time signals, as well as other applications yet to be invented or explored.

“These agencies with world-class research capabilities will work to advance the capabilities and leadership of quantum networks,” said Gerald Borsuk, Ph.D., Executive Director of DC-QNet. “Quantum networks will be essential to modern secure communications and 21st century computing enhancements.”

The six agencies are:

  • US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory
  • United States Naval Research Laboratory
  • US Naval Observatory
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • National Security Agency / Central Security Services Directorate
  • National Administration of Space and Aeronautics

There are currently two out-of-region affiliates to this consortium:

  • U.S. Navy Pacific Information Warfare Center
  • US Air Force Research Laboratory

The exploitation of quantum entangled particles (including photons) to transmit information in the form of qubits, the basic unit of information in quantum technologies, is at the heart of quantum networks.

Quantum entanglement is a unique quantum mechanical property of atomic and subatomic particles, where classical physics fails to accurately describe observed phenomena. It describes a relationship between particles in which the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the state of the others, even if they are physically separated from each other.

DC-QNet researchers are also studying other quantum behaviors and abilities such as transduction or the process of converting qubits from one form to another. To fully exploit these capabilities for quantum networks will require advanced measurement science, or metrology.

The DC-QNet testbed will perform qubit entanglement distribution at distances of several kilometers over a well-characterized and controlled quantum network. Efforts include:

  1. Development of high-fidelity quantum memory nodes, single-photon devices, array metrology, qubit platforms, frequency transduction and conversion, synchronization, and continued research and development in enabling science and technology
  2. Develop network infrastructure to connect the six metropolitan agencies
  3. Research and development on the transfer of quantum entanglement between nodes
  4. Network emulation, modeling and simulation
  5. Research and development on classical management and control, routing, monitoring and metrology and associated software of the quantum network.

Governance of DC-QNet includes an Executive Director and Executive Steering Committee, as well as Principal Investigators from agencies taking the lead on various technical objectives. Among the programmatic objectives of the consortium are:

  1. A Trusted Quantum Network Testbed for the US Government and US Department of Defense
  2. Contributions to Network Timing by Official U.S. Government Timekeepers
  3. A focus on the metrology necessary for the exploitation of a quantum network

For more information on DC-Qnet, contact Dr Gerald M. Borsuk, NRL and Executive Director of DC-Qnet

About the United States Naval Research Laboratory

NRL is a science and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the US Navy and Marine Corps from seafloor to space and information. NRL is located in Washington, DC with major field sites at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; Monterey, California, and employs approximately 3,000 civilian scientists, engineers, and support personnel.

For more information, contact NRL Corporate Communications at (202) 480-3746 or [email protected]