DARPA Announces Science of Atomic Vapors for New Technologies Project

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a broad agency announcement for the Science of Atomic Vapors for New Technologies (SAVaNT) project. They are seeking technologies for the advancement of high-performance atomic vapors for electric field sensing and imaging, magnetic field sensing, and quantum information science (QIS). Applications of the new technologies will range from airborne electronic warfare (EW) to naval anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

The program aims to develop techniques to mitigate main decoherence mechanisms to realize the full potential of atomic vapor based technologies. SAVaNT will be a four-year program in two phases. The first phase will focus on three technical areas based on applications where atomic vapors are expected to have the biggest benefit:

  • Rydberg electrometry – which uses atoms to sense electric fields. The focus will be on improving sensitivity and instantaneous bandwidth;
  • vector magnetometry – which measures the component of the magnetic field in a particular direction. It currently requires magnetic shielding and complex active cancellation of ambient magnetic fields, so the focus will be on achieving vapor-based vector magnetometry of quasi-DC fields ranging from 100 Hz to 1 MHz with high sensitivity and accuracy in a small package; and,
  • vapor quantum electrodynamics (VQED) – to demonstrate a room-temperature, vapor-based quantum electrodynamics platform in the strong-coupling regime.

The second phase will demonstrate an integrated bench top physics package and characterize technology trade offs of those three technical areas.

Companies interested should upload abstracts no later than 11 Sept., 2020, and full proposals no later than Oct. 27th, 2020 to the DARPA BAA website at https://baa.darpa.mil.