Stabilization of Quantum Measurements

Solicitation number EN578-20ISC3/64

Publication date

Closing date and time 2022/11/03 14:00 EDT

Last amendment date


    Amendment 002 - An attachment has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.

    Amendment 001 - An attachment has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.

    *Please note the ISC Website will be available on September 22, 2022 at 14:00 EDT

    This Challenge Notice is issued under the Innovative Solutions Canada Program (ISC) Call for Proposals 003 (EN578-20ISC3). For general ISC information, Bidders can visit the ISC website.

    Please refer to the Solicitation Documents which contain the process for submitting a proposal.

    Steps to apply:

    Step 1: read this challenge

    Step 2: read the Call for Proposals

    Step 3: propose your solution here

    Challenge title: Stabilization of Quantum Measurements

    Challenge sponsor: National Research Council (NRC)

    Funding Mechanism: Contract


    Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.

    Phase 1:

    • The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 contract resulting from this Challenge is : $150,000.00 CAD excluding applicable taxes, shipping, travel and living expenses, as required.
    • The maximum duration for any Phase 1 contract resulting from this Challenge is up to 6 months (excluding submission of the final report).
    • Estimated number of Phase 1 contracts: 2

    Phase 2:

    Note: Only eligible businesses that have successfully completed Phase 1 will be invited to submit a proposal for Phase 2.

    • The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 contract resulting from this Challenge is : $1,000,000.00 CAD excluding applicable taxes, shipping, travel and living expenses, as required.
    • The maximum duration for any Phase 2 contract resulting from this Challenge is up to 18 months (excluding submission of the final report).
    • Estimated number of Phase 2 contracts: 1

    This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to award any contract for the total approximate funding. Final decisions on the number of Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards will be made by Canada on the basis of factors such as evaluation results, departmental priorities and availability of funds. Canada reserves the right to make partial awards and to negotiate project scope changes.

    Note: Selected companies are eligible to receive one contract per phase per challenge.


    No travel will be required in Phase 1

    Kick-off meeting


    Progress review meeting(s)


    Final review meeting


    All other communication can take place by telephone, or videoconference.

    Challenge Statement Summary

    The National Research Council is seeking a solution that will enable stable quantum links for the future quantum internet. The solution must demonstrate the synchronization of local interferometers and the stabilization of their interconnecting optical link for the real-time readout of non-local quantum states.

    Challenge Statement

    Quantum correlation present among the particles of light promises improved metrological measurements with precision beyond what is achievable by classical resources. National Research Council (NRC) has recently established the source of entangled photons at Metrology Research Centre (METRO) in order to push the measurement precision limit in Optical Metrology to what is guaranteed by quantum physics. In measuring quantum entanglement between spatially distributed photons, it is critical to ensure synchronizing a readout-phase between local interferometers as quantum state analyzers (QSAs) and stabilizing their interconnecting optical links against thermal and/or mechanical fluctuations, within the coherence of participating photons. NRC is hence seeking innovators who could build active feedback system(s) for quantum channel stabilization and analyzer synchronization. Together, the resulting system, will enable robust and faithful observation of space-separated quantum states, and will eventually be integrated into quantum network prototype based on three-photon entanglement that NRC is currently developing as a fundamental building block for a scalable quantum Internet. Anticipated applications of the prototype include quantum secret sharing between three users and networked quantum information processing with multiple quantum sensors distributed over a distance.

    Desired outcomes and considerations

    Essential (mandatory) Outcomes

    The proposed solution must:

    1. Consist of a minimum of four interferometers (three optimized for quantum signals centered at 1550.00 +/- 0.05 nm, and one optimized for a pump signal centered at 775.00 +/- 0.01 nm).
    2. Be able to actively stabilize and control an optical phase within 0.001 radians.
    3. Have negligible crosstalk noise (greater than 80 dB isolation) from phase-locking laser on quantum signals.
    4. Yield a high throughput (each interferometer must have a transmission of greater than 80%).
    5. Have the ability to tune path-length difference of each interferometer at least 10 millimeters with 1 micrometer precision.
    6. Be able to stabilize relative temporal fluctuation of photon between two spatially separated interferometers on the order of picoseconds.
    7. Be able to stabilize relative temporal fluctuation of photon among all interferometers on the order of picoseconds.
    8. Be scalable with additional interferometers.

    Additional Outcomes

    The proposed solution should:

    1. Be capable of monitoring phase of interlocked interferometers using Labview or Python.
    2. Be capable of monitoring temperature of all individual interferometers.
    3. Be capable of monitoring relative arrival time of photons at each interferometer using Labview or Python.

    Background and Context

    Optical channel stabilization is essential for the realization of quantum networks as local quantum nodes are interconnected by interfering independent photons travelled from each network node. This photonic interference measurements require all participating photons indistinguishable in their degrees of freedom (DOFs), i.e. frequency, polarization, space and time. Compared to other DOFs, stabilizing the arrival time of photons, within their typical coherence of O (1 - 10 ps), is nontrivial due to sudden and large thermal and/or mechanical fluctuations throughout the entire system. Such a high-precision time-stabilization system could be expensive and labour intensive as separate hardware (lasers and photon detectors) and feedback mechanism are needed to be integrated into the main quantum system. Therefore, the development of an innovative solution to this problem through the IRAP-ISC challenge program would be time- and cost-effective, and would further support the quantum industry in Canada. Until now, no commercial solution has been provided by enterprises.


    All enquiries must be submitted in writing to no later than ten calendar days before the Challenge Notice closing date. Enquiries received after that time may not be answered.

    How to Prepare a Bid

    Contract duration

    Refer to the description above for full details.

    Trade agreements

    • No trade agreements are applicable to this solicitation process

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    Contact information

    Contracting organization

    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    11 Laurier St, Phase III, Place du Portage
    Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0S5
    Contracting authority
    Group, PSPC
    10 rue Wellington
    Gatineau, QC, K1A 0S5

    Buying organization(s)

    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    11 Laurier St, Phase III, Place du Portage
    Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0S5
    Bidding details

    Full details regarding this tender opportunity are available in the documents below. Click on the document name to download the file. Contact the contracting officer if you have any questions regarding these documents.

    Access the Getting started page for details on how to bid, and more.

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    Summary information

    Notice type
    Request for Proposal
    French, English
    Region(s) of delivery
    Region of opportunity
    Procurement method
    Competitive – Open Bidding
    Commodity - GSIN
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