Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Quantum Science

Understanding and leveraging quantum effects for military benefit

Showing 5 results for Quantum + Integration RSS
Microelectromechanical systems, known as MEMS, are ubiquitous in modern military systems such as gyroscopes for navigation, tiny microphones for lightweight radios, and medical biosensors for assessing the wounded. Such applications benefit from the portability, low power, and low cost of MEMS devices. Although the use of MEMS sensors is now commonplace, they still operate many orders of magnitude below their theoretical performance limits. This is due to two obstacles: thermal fluctuations and random quantum fluctuations, a barrier known as the standard quantum limit.
Lasers have made a tremendous impact on our world – they are essential to diverse fields such as optical communications, remote sensing, manufacturing, and medicine. At the same time, photonic integrated circuits have allowed unprecedented advances in optical systems for Department of Defense (DoD) applications, including LiDAR, signal processing, chip-scale optical clocks, gyros, and data transmission. However, these two technologies today are limited by the incompatibility of the materials used to create them – silicon photonics are easy to manufacture but are poor light emitters while compound semiconductors enable efficient emitters but are difficult to scale for complex integrated circuits.
For decades, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology has been incorporated into vehicles and munitions to meet DoD requirements for precision guidance and navigation. GPS dependence creates a critical vulnerability for many DoD systems in situations where the GPS signal is degraded or unavailable.
Micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS) are employed in many Department of Defense (DoD) systems. These devices find use in compact accelerometers and gyroscopes for stability control and inertial navigation and in switches for optical communication and data routing. Incredibly, these devices still operate many of orders of magnitude away from their ultimate limits. Techniques to reduce or overcome thermal noise in MEMS/NEMS devices are critical for realizing their full potential.
Program Manager
Dr. John Burke joined DARPA as a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) in August 2017. His research interests include the development of high-stability, low-noise sensors and frequency synthesis to enable new positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) and remote detection capabilities. He is particularly interested in integration of quantum and photonic sensors into form factors for practical use outside of a laboratory and new capabilities created by these devices.