(CLOSED) DOE Entanglement Management and Control in Transparent Optical Quantum Networks (DE-FOA-0002476)

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

The DOE SC program in Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) hereby announces its interest in entanglement management and control in transparent optical quantum communications networks. Recently, tremendous progress has been made in understanding how quantum information with its complex characterization can be geographically distributed to achieve extraordinary capabilities that are impossible using classical optical telecommunication networks. This process involves quantum entanglement, a complex and valuable but perishable resource in which the transmitted quantum information is encoded. Although the transmission of an entanglement state over a dedicated single-hop channel has been successfully demonstrated, the distribution of a large number (several thousand) of entangled states in multi-hop and multi-user mesh-topology quantum networks remains an open challenge.

The focus of this FOA is on entanglement traffic engineering - the scalable management and control of a large pool of quantum entangled states carried over multi-hop multi-user optical quantum networks. This announcement is based on the vision of universal transparent quantum networks described in the quantum networks for science workshop report [1] and on an earlier SC program announcement to the national laboratories [8] focusing on the development of basic network components such as quantum transductions, quantum frequency converters, quantum repeaters, and generic quantum networks nodes hosting Quantum Information Science (QIS) applications. The ultimate aim is to develop quantum network capabilities to support the vision articulated in the quantum internet blueprint workshop report [9]. While a universal transparent optical quantum network should be able to allow users to distribute different entangled states (including squeezed states), the interest in this announcement is on bipartite hybrid Discrete Variable/Continuous Variable (DV/CV) [2,3,4,6] entanglement.

Applications that focus on the theoretical foundation of entanglement engineering in quantum networks described above are welcomed; however, priority will be given to applications that emphasize both theoretical and - potential uses of their research results in a quantum network testbed. This FOA seeks to advance understanding of how entanglement operates in quantum networks: The engineering challenges of how to optimize a quantum network will build on this foundation of basic research.

Quantum networks, especially continental-scale quantum networks are still in infancy. Critical components such as quantum repeaters, quantum frequency converters, quantum buffers, and quantum routers are currently not available. Applicants should therefore focus on entanglement traffic engineering for multi-hop quantum networks with no repeaters or routers, specifically hybrid (DV/CV) Quantum Local Area Networks (Q-LANs). The proposed Q-LAN should have the following minimum characteristics besides supporting hybrid (DV/CV) quantum encoding:

  1. Mesh topology networks with a minimum of three quantum network nodes - where nodes are defined as network locations where QIS applications [8] and photonic quantum network devices are hosted. Nodes are also sources or destinations of entangled states;
  2. Multi-users – the network should be able to handle multiple users capable of randomly generating entangled states that are groomed and carried over shared channels, and a user may generate several quantum states;
  3. Entangled states must traverse at least two quantum links or hops between source-destination paths.
  4. The quantum links of interest are optical fiber systems that operate on ITU optical grids in C and L bands used for standard optical telecommunication systems. These links must be capable of carrying classical and quantum network information.

Out of scope topics
Applications that focus on the following topics are outside the scope of this FOA scope and will be declined without merit review:

  • Digital simulation studies of entanglement management and control,
  • Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) networks hybrid digital/quantum information,
  • other types of entanglement not suitable for transmission over long-distance photonic networks,
  • collaborative projects with independent and unrelated subtasks from participating institutions.
Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor LOI Deadline: 
Apr 05, 2021
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
May 17, 2021
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_DE-FOA-0002476_2021.pdf) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

2. Project Description (no more than two pages, pdf) identifying the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements of the sponsor's solicitation, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations.

3. 2-page CV's of Investigators

Formatting Guidelines:

Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 4:00pm
For help or questions: 

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

No Applicants