In quantum illumination (QI) the non-classical correlations between continuous variable (CV) entangled modes of radiation are exploited to detect the presence of a target embedded in thermal noise. The extreme environment where QI outperforms its optimal classical counterpart suggests that applications in the microwave domain would benefit the most from this new sensing paradigm. However all the proposed QI receivers rely on ideal photon counters or detectors, which are not currently feasible in the microwave domain. Here we propose a new QI receiver that utilises a CV controlled not gate (CNOT) in order to perform a joint measurement on a target return and its retained twin. Unlike other QI receivers, the entire detection process is carried out by homodyne measurements and square-law detectors. The receiver exploits two squeezed ancillary modes as a part of the gate’s operation. These extra resources are prepared offline and their overall gain is controlled passively by a single beamsplitter parameter. We compare our model to other QI receivers and highlight the conditions in which it outperforms others and achieves optimal performance. Although the main focus of this study is microwave quantum sensing applications, our proposed device can be built as well in the optical domain, thus rendering it as a new addition to the quantum sensing toolbox in a wider sense.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103986-103999
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Continuous variable (CV) quantum information
  • continuous variable controlled not gate (CV CNOT)
  • Correlation
  • Detectors
  • entanglement
  • Logic gates
  • Photonics
  • Protocols
  • quantum illumination (QI)
  • Quantum sensing
  • Receivers
  • two mode squeezed vacuum (TMSV)


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