Approaching the ultimate quantum-mechanics-limited sensitivities in space communication and sensing (remote or in-situ) holds the potential to significantly improve our scientific capabilities in future space missions. Examples are higher information capacity in communications, higher resolution and sensitivity in range and range-rate estimation, higher phase-estimation sensitivity in optical interferometry, higher resolution in imaging (including spectroscopy and metrology), and higher probability of object detection in active remote sensing.
The technical objectives of our proposed study program are to:
- identify the set of application areas in space communications and sensing that could benefit from novel quantum-enhanced techniques under realistic environmental conditions
- identify key performance requirements to realize the promised gains
- capture the state-of-the-art relative to these requirements in order to determine the research and development avenues that could deliver quantum-enhanced capabilities
Our goal is to have formulated several promising concepts by the end of this study, which can then be matured into viable space-technology concepts during the possible follow-on program.