News › Fraun­ho­fer IOF • Quan­ten­tech­no­lo­gien für Com­pu­ting, Kom­mu­ni­ka­tion und Bild­ge­bung auf der HANNOVER MESSE

Quan­tum tech­no­lo­gies are gro­wing. The Fraun­ho­fer Insti­tute for Applied Optics and Pre­cis­ion Engi­nee­ring IOF will pre­sent latest tech­no­lo­gies for the future mar­kets of com­pu­ting, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ima­ging at HANNOVER MESSE Digi­tal Edi­tion from April 12 to 16. Free tickets are available on request from the institute.

Under this year’s title »Indus­trial Trans­for­ma­tion«, the HANNOVER MESSE, as one of the lea­ding know­ledge and net­wor­king plat­forms, once again invi­tes visi­tors to mar­vel at the latest tech­no­lo­gies from the fields of indus­try, busi­ness and logi­stics. Matching to this, Fraun­ho­fer IOF will pre­sent a com­pre­hen­sive port­fo­lio of quan­tum tech­no­lo­gies. Due to their enorm­ous growth, they will play a key role in sha­ping future trans­for­ma­tion processes.

Quan­tum ima­ging endorse new pos­si­bi­li­ties in biomedicine

Quan­tum tech­no­lo­gies not only allow us to rethink the world on a large scale. On the con­trary: even what lies hid­den in the small beco­mes visi­ble through the latest quan­tum tech­no­lo­gies. This is of par­ti­cu­lar bene­fit to bio­me­di­cine and dia­gno­stics: An ima­ging sys­tem deve­lo­ped at Fraun­ho­fer IOF based on »quan­tum light« makes it pos­si­ble to spec­t­rally sepa­rate the illu­mi­na­tion of a sam­ple and the detec­tion on the camera. This means that dif­fe­rent wave­lengths can be used for the expo­sure of a sam­ple and the rea­dout on the sen­sor. In this way, new spec­tral ran­ges can be made acces­si­ble for ana­ly­sis. At the same time, the effi­ci­ency of the detec­tion sys­tems can be increased and the beam load for tis­sue images reduced.

With quan­tum com­pu­ters towards a new digi­tal age

The quan­tum com­pu­ter will trig­ger big chan­ges for busi­ness and indus­try, but also for society. Unlike a clas­si­cal com­pu­ter, which can only »think« in two sta­tes, zero and one, the quan­tum com­pu­ter makes use of quan­tum effects such as ent­an­gled pho­tons. In this way, its com­pu­ting units, so-cal­led »QuBits«, can assume seve­ral sta­tes at the same time. This allows signi­fi­cantly fas­ter and more effi­ci­ent work.

Fraun­ho­fer IOF deve­lops opti­cal and pre­cis­ion mecha­ni­cal com­pon­ents and sys­tems for these next-gene­ra­tion com­pu­ters. Among other things, laser addres­sing units for mani­pu­la­ting ions and atoms as car­ri­ers of qubits were rea­li­zed at the insti­tute last year. As part of AQTION, a pro­ject under the Euro­pean Union’s Quan­tum Flag­ship Pro­gram, these addres­sing optics will be inte­gra­ted into an ion trap at the Uni­ver­sity of Inns­bruck, in which up to 50 ions will be arran­ged as qubit infor­ma­tion car­ri­ers in a later expan­sion stage.

Quan­tum com­mu­ni­ca­tion for secu­rity and data sovereignty

Quan­tum com­pu­ters will also make it neces­sary to rethink cur­rent com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems. Alre­ady today, these new com­pu­ters threa­ten our infor­ma­tion tech­no­logy secu­rity because of their enorm­ous com­pu­ting power. Data can now be stored and later be encrypted with the help of more powerful com­pu­ters. The­r­e­fore, new encryp­tion tech­no­lo­gies are nee­ded to pro­tect busi­ness secrets from these so-cal­led »store now, decrypt later« attacks.

One such new tech­no­logy is the »quan­tum key dis­tri­bu­tion« (QKD). Rese­ar­ching QKD is the main objec­tive of »QuNET«, a rese­arch initia­tive of the Ger­man Fede­ral Minis­try of Edu­ca­tion and Rese­arch (BMBF). Within this pro­ject, Fraun­ho­fer IOF is, tog­e­ther with other rese­arch part­ners, crea­ting the basis for secure and robust IT net­works based on quan­tum tech­no­lo­gies. Rese­ar­chers from the insti­tute will also be pro­vi­ding infor­ma­tion about »QuNET« at the BMBF’s stand at the HANNOVER MESSE.

A key tech­ni­cal com­po­nent for state-of-the-art quan­tum com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a sta­ble source for gene­ra­ting ent­an­gled pho­ton pairs that can be easily inte­gra­ted into exis­ting sys­tems. An »Ent­an­gled Pho­ton Source« has been deve­lo­ped at Fraun­ho­fer IOF in recent years. It is desi­gned for use in space and allows secure quan­tum com­mu­ni­ca­tion via satel­lite net­work. The light source pre­sen­ted at the HANNOVER MESSE is repre­sen­ta­tive of a series of highly spe­cia­li­zed quan­tum sources adapted to the requi­re­ments of various appli­ca­tion sce­na­rios. They are being deve­lo­ped as part of the newly estab­lished net­work at Fraun­ho­fer IOF for applied pho­to­nic quan­tum technologies.

Quan­tum key exch­ange by means of free beam and adap­tive optics

To be uni­ver­sally appli­ca­ble, sci­en­ti­fic teams are working within the frame­work of »QuNET« to rea­lize quan­tum com­mu­ni­ca­tion over dif­fe­rent distances. In Jena, opti­cal free-beam sys­tems are being rese­ar­ched for this pur­pose. A spe­cial telescope plat­form is curr­ently being tes­ted, which allows a free-beam link to be estab­lished bet­ween two com­mu­ni­ca­tion part­ners in a short time. The core of the sys­tem is an effi­ci­ent metal mir­ror telescope in com­bi­na­tion with active beam sta­bi­liza­tion. This makes it pos­si­ble to estab­lish links within cities with distances of seve­ral hundred meters or seve­ral kilometers.

In addi­tion, free-beam sys­tems must be able to tra­verse the tur­bu­lent atmo­sphere wit­hout caus­ing inter­fe­rence to the signal. Such dis­tur­ban­ces can be cor­rec­ted by adap­tive optics. Rese­ar­chers at Fraun­ho­fer IOF have deve­lo­ped adap­tive opti­cal modu­les – also known as »AO boxes« – for this pur­pose. An AO box, which can be used in an opti­cal ground sta­tion or telescope, cor­rects tur­bu­lence-indu­ced wave­front errors or com­pen­sa­tes them pre­ven­tively. The signal can then be mea­su­red or trans­mit­ted to a fiber network.

Live­stream of the Fraun­ho­fer IOF at HANNOVER MESSE

This year, the HANNOVER MESSE offers a diverse range of live­streams. Visi­tors will find inte­res­t­ing inter­views, panels, and dis­cus­sions. At the joint stand of Fraun­ho­fer-Gesell­schaft, the Fraun­ho­fer IOF will also pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive infor­ma­tion about quan­tum rese­arch in Jena:

April 13, 10:30 to 11:00 a.m.
»Quan­tum tech­no­lo­gies and their appli­ca­tion poten­ti­als for indus­try and economy«
Prof. Dr. Andreas Tün­ner­mann, direc­tor of the Fraun­ho­fer IOF as well as spo­kes­man of the stra­te­gic Fraun­ho­fer rese­arch field »Quan­tum Tech­no­lo­gies« and Dr. Falk Eilen­ber­ger, Quan­tum rese­ar­chers at the Pho­to­nics Per­for­mance Centre


Desi­ree Haak
Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit