DARPA Information Innovation Office (I2O) is soliciting innovative research proposals for the development of a hybrid quantum-classical communication network architecture to enable quantum enhancements to security and covertness on today’s classical networks.
QuANET will be a 51 month, 4-phase program. Selected performers are expected to collaborate with each other.
TA 1 – focus on the development, ruggedization, and miniaturization of a quantum network interface card (qNIC) that directly connects quantum links with classical computing nodes. The device must be capable of sending and receiving quantum information, as well as sending and receiving quantum timing and sensing information, atop classical information. Software embedded in the qNIC is expected to integrate with TA2 and TA3 solutions starting in Phase 2.
TA 2 – build algorithms, protocols, and software infrastructure that use quantum timing and sensing information to augment the communication of classical information. These software tools are expected to integrate into a TCP/IP network stack. TA2 capabilities are expected to run on TA1 qNICs starting in Phase 2.
TA3 – build algorithms, protocols, and software infrastructure that integrate quantum secure direct communication links into a mostly classical network infrastructure running TCP/IP. TA3 capabilities are expected to run on TA1 qNICs starting in Phase 2.
Government partners will provide an integration testbed along with a separate test and evaluation team. The integration team will provide a classical network infrastructure (nodes, twisted pair and fiber cables) along with quantum links that will support integration of the TA1-TA3 capabilities.
DARPA anticipates making one or more awards for each of TA1, TA2, and TA3. Each proposal submitted against this solicitation may address any combination of these TAs. Proposals addressing multiple TAs should be clearly separable. A proposer submitting to multiple TAs may be selected to perform on any combination of proposed TAs.
Abstracts are due 25 May 2023, with full proposals due 7 July 2023.
Broad Agency Announcement – QuANET: HR001123S0035