Envisioned Extensions of an Operating Quantum Network for the AQNET-SD Project. Credit: Fermilab

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science Advanced Scientific Computing Research program has awarded Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) $9 million in funding over a three year period for a Advanced Quantum Networks for Scientific Discovery (AQNET-SD) project to continue its research towards reliable, scalable and secure quantum networks. They will be working with Caltech, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to implement two quantum networks. The first is an extension of the  Illinois‐Express Quantum Network (IEQNET) which links Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory, and Northwestern University in the Chicago metro area to link it to an additional node at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign about 150 miles south. The second network will connect the Jet Propulsion Lab with Caltech, a distance of roughly 5 miles in Pasadena, California, using both fiber optic cable and free-space transmission. A press release provided by Fermilab about this award is available here.

In a different program Argonne National Laboratory is also expected to receive $9 million over a three year period from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science for a program InterQnet. This program will link five buildings on the Argonne campus with multiple distinct quantum platforms and an early-stage quantum repeater. Quantum repeaters are key technology that needs to be developed in order to create long distance quantum networks. A key characteristic of this project is that the quantum platforms being networked will all be using different modalities with a goal to show that they can be made to work interoperable with each other. A post from Argonne announcing this project can be found here.

Both of these projects are intended to further the U.S. goal of further developing the technology needed for a U.S. national quantum network.

October 18, 2023