Entangled photon pairs are created by a system consisting of a 1064 nm pump diode laser that is fiber coupled to a high generation rate photon pair source. The source is a dual element periodically poled potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) waveguide that up-converts 1064 nm photons to single 532 nm photons in the first stage. In the second stage, the green photons are down converted to energy entangled photon pairs at 800 nm and 1600 nm. The output photon pairs are guided by fiber to sorting optics where they are separated and sent into high-efficiency photon detectors. In particular, the 1600 nm photons are detected by a superconducting nanowire with efficiency over 60% and dead time less than 50 ns. Detector output electrical signals are sent to a time tagger with bin resolution as narrow as 25 ps for coincidence counting. The ultimate goal of this setup is to demonstrate a singlesource, high efficiency, high data rate, quantum communication system to enable Earth-space quantum networks. Of particular interest is a source of entangled photons that is amenable to utilization in aircraft and spacecraft under rigorous flight and environmental conditions. Test results that characterize the entangled photon pair creation and detection capabilities of our system will be presented.
AdvR, through support of the NASA SBIR program, has developed fiber-based components and sub-systems that are routinely used on NASA’s airborne missions, and is now developing an environmentally hardened, diode-based, locked wavelength, seed laser for future space-based high spectral resolution lidar applications. The seed laser source utilizes a fiber-coupled diode laser, a fiber-coupled, calibrated iodine reference module to provide an absolute wavelength reference, and an integrated, dual-element, nonlinear optical waveguide component for second harmonic generation, spectral formatting and wavelength locking. The diode laser operates over a range close to 1064.5 nm, provides for stabilization of the seed to the desired iodine transition and allows for a highly-efficient, fully-integrated seed source that is well-suited for use in airborne and space-based environments. A summary of component level environmental testing and spectral purity measurements with a seeded Nd:YAG laser will be presented. A direct-diode, wavelength-locked seed laser will reduce the overall size weight and power (SWaP) requirements of the laser transmitter, thus directly addressing the need for developing compact, efficient, lidar component technologies for use in airborne and space-based environments.
Compressive laser ranging (CLR) is a method that exploits the sparsity available in the range domain using compressive
sensing methods to directly obtain range domain information. Conventional ranging methods are marred by requirements
of high bandwidth analog detection which includes severe SNR fall off with bandwidth in analog-to-digital conversion
(ADC). Compressive laser ranging solves this problem by obtaining sub-centimeter resolution while using low
bandwidth detection. High rate digital pulse pattern generators and off the shelf photonic devices are used to modulate
the transmitted and received light from a superluminescent diode. CLR detection is demonstrated using low bandwidth,
high dynamic range detectors along with photon counting techniques. The use of an incoherent source eliminates speckle
issues and enables simplified CLR methods to get multi-target range profiles with 1-3cm resolution. Using compressive
sensing methods CLR allows direct range measurements in the sub-Nyquist regime while reducing system resources, in
particular the need for high bandwidth ADC.