SEAQUE To Host Quantum Self-Healing Technology Demo

SEAQUE To Host Quantum Self-Healing Technology Demo 

This article explains about SEAQUE To Host Quantum Self-Healing Technology Demo.

That means quantum computers could potentially connect with each other no matter where they are. 

Unmanned experiments aboard the ISS later this year may pave the way for a global quantum network. The SEAQUE (Space Entanglement and Annealing Quantum Experiment) will test two communications technologies in the harsh environment of space. 

Quantum computers may be able to run millions of times faster than conventional computers, and distributed quantum sensors may be able to measure minute changes in gravity. But to communicate, quantum computers or quantum sensors will need a separate network. This network will include “space nodes” that can receive and broadcast quantum data via free-space optical communications. 

EAQUE aims to test technology that could securely connect quantum transmitters and receivers over long distances. To do so, these nodes must make and detect entangled photon pairs. Transmitting such photons to ground-based quantum computers could eventually enable quantum cloud computing — the ability to exchange and process quantum data regardless of location. 

SEAQUE will also investigate a method to enable space-based nodes “self-heal” from radiation damage, which is a constant difficulty of keeping fragile sensors in orbit. 

Makan Mohageg, co-investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said demonstrating these two technologies lays the groundwork for future global quantum networks. 

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The project is global, like the network it supports. The SEAQUE partnership involves scientists and students from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, National University of Singapore, AdvR, Inc. of Montana, Nanoracks of Texas, and JPL. 

Entanglement’s Power 

Even when separated by a vast distance, measuring one entangled photon influences the findings of measuring the other. This is a key feature of quantum mechanical systems. Entangling photons are split into pairs by SEAQUE’s entangled-photon source. The instrument’s internal detectors count and quantify the offspring photons’ quantum characteristics. 

SEAQUE relies on an integrated source of entangled photons via a waveguide, a first for spacecraft. A waveguide is a tiny structure that directs photons’ propagation while retaining their quantum state. 

According to Paul Kwiat, chief investigator at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, SEAQUE will demonstrate a new entanglement source based on integrated optics. « Such a source produces photon pairs more efficiently than bulk optic entanglement sources employed in earlier space investigations. 

Unlike bulk optics, which require meticulous optical adjustment by a ground operator after being shook around during launch, SEAQUE optics do not. 

This will be a big step towards a scalable worldwide quantum information network. 

Laser Cure 

The technology demonstration could be more reliable if SEAQUE can cure radiation damage. 

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To receive single-photon quantum messages from Earth, quantum communication nodes will need incredibly sensitive detectors. As high-energy particles from space impact the nodes’ detectors, they cause flaws. These flaws can cause “dark counts” in a detector’s output, which can gradually drown out any ground-based quantum signal. A global quantum communications network would be impossible if not for space radiation. 

For the first time, SEAQUE will use a strong laser to repair radiation-induced damage to the detector array. 

“In testing on the ground, we found that this technique causes the faults in the lattice to ‘bubble away’ — a process known as annealing,” explained Kwiat. 

The Bishop airlock, owned and operated by Nanoracks, will host SEAQUE. Nanoracks also handles mission operations and launch coordination. AdvR, Inc. created the SEAQUE integrated optical entangled photon source. The technological demonstration is financed by NASA’s Biological and Physical Sciences Division’s Science Mission Directorate.

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