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Determining the Angle-of-Arrival of an Radio-Frequency Source with a Rydberg Atom-Based Sensor



Amy Robinson, Nik Prajapati, Damir Senic, Matt Simons, Christopher L. Holloway


In this work we demonstrate the use of a Rydberg atom-based sensor for determining the angle-of- arrival of an incident radio-frequency (RF) wave or signal. The technique uses electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) in Rydberg atomic vapor in conjunction with a heterodyne Rydberg atom- based mixer. The Rydberg atom mixer measures the phase of the incident RF wave at two different locations inside an atomic vapor cell. The phase difference at these two locations is related to the direction of arrival of the incident RF wave. To demonstrate this approach, we measure phase difference of an incident 19.18 GHz wave at two locations inside a vapor cell filled with cesium atoms for various incident angles. Comparisons of these measurements to both full-wave simulation and to a plane-wave theoretical model show that these atom-based sub-wavelength phase measurements can be used to determine the angle-of-arrival of an RF field.
Applied Physics Letters


Rydberg atoms, atomic sensor, rf field, angle of arrival, EIT


Robinson, A. , Prajapati, N. , Senic, D. , Simons, M. and Holloway, C. (2021), Determining the Angle-of-Arrival of an Radio-Frequency Source with a Rydberg Atom-Based Sensor, Applied Physics Letters, [online], (Accessed July 20, 2024)


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Created October 22, 2021