Formulation and Analysis of the Quantum Radar Cross Section

Open Access
Brandsema, Matthew J
Graduate Program:
Electrical Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
December 07, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Ram Narayanan, Dissertation Advisor
  • Ram Narayanan, Committee Chair
  • Iam Choon Khoo, Committee Member
  • Zhiwen Liu, Committee Member
  • Marcos Rigol, Outside Member
  • Marco Lanzagorta, Special Member
  • Quantum Radar
  • QRCS
  • Radar Cross Section
  • Photon Scattering
In radar, the amount of returns that an object sends back to the receiver after being struck by an electromagnetic wave is characterized by what is known as the radar cross section, denoted by  typically. There are many mechanisms that affect how much radiation is reflected back in the receiver direction, such as reflectivity, physical contours and dimensions, attenuation properties of the materials, projected cross sectional area and so on. All of these characteristics are lumped together in a single value of , which has units of m2. Stealth aircrafts for example are designed to minimize its radar cross section and return the smallest amount of radiation possible in the receiver direction. A new concept has been introduced called quantum radar, that uses correlated quantum states of photons as well as the unique properties of quantum mechanics to ascertain information on a target at a distance. At the time of writing this dissertation, quantum radar is very much in its infancy. There still exist fundamental questions about the feasibility of its implementation, especially in the microwave spectrum. However, what has been theoretically determined, is that quantum radar has a fundamental advantage over classical radar in terms of resolution and returns in certain regimes. Analogous to the classical radar cross section (CRCS), the concept of the quantum radar cross section (QRCS) has been introduced. This quantity measures how “large” an object looks to a quantum radar be describing how a single photon, or small cluster of photons scatter off of a macroscopic target. Preliminary simulations of the basic quantum radar cross section equation have yielded promising results showing an advantage in sidelobe response in comparison to the classical RCS. This document expands upon this idea by providing insight as to where this advantage expanding upon the theory. The expanded theory presented in this document includes re-deriving the QRCS formula to be a general bistatic formula, as the current equation is only valid for monostatic radar geometries. This re-derivation process also leads to the addition of terms that capture the effect of photon polarization, something that is not properly taken into account in the current literature. Most importantly, a new formulation of the QRCS formula will be derived that includes writing the equation in terms of Fourier transforms. This has a profound impact on the analysis of the theory of the QRCS as it allows for the derivation of closed form solutions of certain geometries, something that has never been possible due to the form of the current QRCS equation. All together, this document will provide a complete and general theory of the QRCS. After deriving the necessary equations, there will be extensive work in the utilization of these equations in deriving geometry dependent responses and comparing the closed form solutions to the classical solutions as well as comparing the solutions to the numerical simulations. The current literature relies exclusively on numerical simulations to analyze the behavior of the QRCS. The simulations done do not take into account the macroscopic nature of the target. Because the atoms are so numerous, and because of the underlying Fourier transform relationship, there are many issues of sampling that must be taken into account when performing simulations. Simulating an object with too few samples results in an aliased and incorrect version of the QRCS response. An extensive error analysis is presented which ensures an accurate simulation result based on sample number. Finally, possible future work endeavors will be presented which include QRCS diffraction, shadowing, more accurate simulation concepts, and the effect of quantum tunneling on the QRCS response.