Quantum Information Transported Over Radio Frequency
Navy SBIR 2019.3 - Topic N193-140
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Attick - [email protected]
Opens: September 24, 2019 - Closes: October 23, 2019 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Quantum Information Transported Over Radio Frequency


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Information Systems


The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Investigate, design, and develop the capability to leverage quantum information such as electron momentum/spin to transmit information over radio frequency (RF) in binary form instead of waveform and power levels, therefore making the signal less susceptible to jamming, interception, and possibly detection.

DESCRIPTION: The Navy seeks the means to: (1) create a bias in� order� to transmit quantum information over radio frequency (RF) (for example, using electron spin) in a binary method as opposed to power levels and waveform modulations; (2) properly detect the quantum information (e.g., electron spin) and convert it into a binary digit (bit); and (3) by using the electron spin as the example of quantum information, designating the spin up to a 1 and a spin down to a 0, leverage this to become a transfer of information via radio frequencies.

The electron has a magnetic momentum or spin either as �up� or �down.� The usual probability of the electron having either of these spins when measured is 50%. Developing the ability to deliberately bias that spin either in the up or down would change the probability to something higher than 50% to indicate the meaning of a binary digit. The Stern-Gerlach experiment involves sending a beam of particles through an inhomogeneous magnetic field and observing their deflection. The results show that particles possess an intrinsic angular momentum that is closely analogous to the angular momentum of a classically spinning object, but that takes only certain quantized values [Ref 3].

The device must weigh less than 100 pounds and have a volume less than 3,600 cubic inches. Design goal is to be comparable to existing military avionics equipment such as an AN/ARC-210 radio [Ref 4]. Measure and characterize the behavior of the device over RF frequencies from 300MHz up to 40GHz in the following bands: 30-300MHz, 300MHz-3GHz, 1-2 GHz, 2-4GHz, 4-8 GHz, 8-12 GHz, 12-18 GHz, 18-26 GHz, and 26-50 GHz. The device should run on 28V DC and be designed with considerations of MIL-STD-810H [Ref 5]. Conduct demonstration in an indoor lab or outdoor range�� to demonstrate quantum information transmission and reception. Report the results including the design architecture, the measured results of quantum information detection, the detections versus frequency, and conclusion and recommendations of the test and demonstrations conducted.

Demonstrate the device on a manned fixed wing or manned rotorcraft civilian or military air vehicle, to show the overall capability that was developed.

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DSS and NAVAIR I order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Design, demonstrate and validate, through analysis and/or simulation, a binary quantum state that can be created, transported over RF and detected by the prototyped device. Characterize the hardware it would take to make that happen. Determine the desired probability of quantum information detection given a finite number of biased quantum particles. Assess the device performance parameters including the size, weight, cooling, and power consumption of the hardware to create such a device. Estimate the parameters of feasibility for such a device to operate such as frequency range, effective radiated power of transmitted radio frequency signal, and minimal detectable signal for reception of the RF to achieve the desired probability of quantum information detection. Predict operational environment of such a device in terms of isolation, temperature, and physical stability of device to generate the quantum information suitable for transportation over radio frequency. Determine if free-space RF is suitable for the transfer of quantum information, and propose the best-suited frequencies for such transfer. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.

PHASE II: Based on Phase I, design and fabricate the prototype and demonstrate/validate the ability to transport quantum information for maritime airborne applications. Measure operating parameters related to operation range, including the signal-to-noise ratio for a minimal detectable signal of the RF to achieve the desired probability of quantum information detection, and the probability of quantum binary digit detection. Demonstrate or predict how other natural phenomena such as atmospheric affects (e.g., clouds, water vapor) would affect the minimal discernable reception. Measure and/or calculate the distance to achieve a desired probability of quantum information detection. Characterize the behavior over RF frequencies from 300MHz up to 40 GHz in minimum of bands from 30-300MHz, 300-3GHz, 1-2 GHz, 2-4 GHz, 4-8 GHz, 8-12 GHz, 12-18 GHz, 18-26 GHz, and 26-50 GHz. Conduct demonstration in an indoor lab or outdoor range to demonstrate quantum information transmission and reception. Report the results including the design architecture, the measured results of quantum information detection, the detections versus frequency, and conclusions and recommendations of the tests and demonstrations conducted.

Upon successful demonstration in the lab or outdoor range, build a flight-worthy system to transmit and detect quantum information that can fly aboard a manned civilian or military air vehicle.

Work in Phase II may become classified. Please see note in Description section.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Based on Phase II prototype, prepare for and demonstrate the capabilities in a relevant airborne environment such as a manned fixed-wing or manned rotary-wing civilian or military aircraft. Collect and verify the performance parameters to include bit rate, error rates, and data transport rates in megabits per second. Develop a draft, system performance specification. Report on produce-ability of product, as well as suitability of product to augment existing radio-frequency systems. Propose options for integrating product into existing military radio frequency systems. Transition final device for use on appropriate platforms.

This technology can apply to any transport of information that currently uses radio frequencies including household Wi-Fi routers, mobile communications, security and encryption applications, broadcast communications, and other microwave data transmissions.


1. Drysdale, T. D., Allen, B., Cano, E., Bai, Q. and Tennant, A., "Evaluation of OAM-radio mode detection using the phase gradient method." 2017 11th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EUCAP), Paris, 2017, pp. 3606-3610. https://doi.org/10.23919/EuCAP.2017.7928341

2. Kenyon, Henry S. "Quantum Radio Takes A Giant Leap." AFCEA International, Fairfax, VA 2018. https://www.afcea.org/content/quantum-radio-takes-giant-leap

3. Hsu, Bailey C., Berrondo, Manuel, et. al. "Stern-Gerlach dynamics with quantum propagators." Department of Physics and Astronomy, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 2011. https://journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevA.83.012109

4. "RT-1990A(C)/ARC-210 � GENERATION 5." Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, IA 2015. https://www.rockwellcollins.com/-/media/files/unsecure/products/product-brochures/communication-and-networks/communication-radios/629f-23-brochure.pdf?lastupdate=20170118201627

5. Department of Defense. "Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests." MIL-STD-810H, 31 January 2019. http://everyspec.com/MIL-STD/MIL-STD-0800-0899/download.php?spec=MIL-STD-810H.055998.pdf

KEYWORDS: Quantum; Data Transport; Information Science; Datalink; Radio Frequency; Assured Command and Control



These Navy Topics are part of the overall DoD 2019.3 SBIR BAA. The DoD issued its 2019.3 BAA SBIR pre-release on August 23, 2019, which opens to receive proposals on September 24, 2019, and closes October 23, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.

Direct Contact with Topic Authors. From August 23 to September 23, 2019 this BAA is issued for Pre-Release with the names of the topic authors and their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. During the pre- release period, proposing firms have an opportunity to contact topic authors by telephone or e-mail to ask technical questions about specific BAA topics. Questions should be limited to specific information related to improving the understanding of a particular topic�s requirements. Proposing firms may not ask for advice or guidance on solution approach and you may not submit additional material to the topic author. If information provided during an exchange with the topic author is deemed necessary for proposal preparation, that information will be made available to all parties through SITIS (SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System). After this period questions must be asked through SITIS as described below.


SITIS Q&A System. Once DoD begins accepting proposals on September 24, 2019 no further direct contact between proposers and topic authors is allowed unless the Topic Author is responding to a question submitted during the Pre-release period. However, proposers may submit written questions through SITIS at https://www.defensesbirsttr.mil/topics . In SITIS, the questioner and respondent remain anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing.

Topics Search Engine: Visit the DoD Topic Search Tool at www.defensesbirsttr.mil/topics/ to find topics by keyword across all DoD Components participating in this BAA.

Help: If you have general questions about DoD SBIR program, please contact the DoD SBIR Help Desk at 800-348-0787 or via email at [email protected]