QuSeC-TAQS: Sensing-Intelligence on The Move: Quantum-Enhanced Optical Diagnosis of Crop Diseases

Project Synopsis

      Downy mildew is one of the most threatening diseases to cucurbit crops, and it can be hardly detected at the early stage of infection using classical sensing technologies. The late detection of downy mildew can cause reduced crop yields and excessive fungicide application, thus leading to significant economic and food losses and environment pollution. Quantum sensing, as a revolutionary technology, has demonstrated its ability to surpass the limits of classical sensing, owing to its utilization of nonclassical resources such as entanglement and squeezed light. This project will develop quantum sensors tailored for the fast and accurate diagnosis of downy mildew.

      Specifically, the team will develop an entangled photon source that is directed by an acousto-optic beam steering device to leaf samples for fast and wide-angle scanning. A quantum receiver enhanced by adaptive learning system that can optimize the receiver circuit configurations based on real-time measurements will be developed to remedy the problem of high photon losses in the agricultural environment. The team will also grow cucumber plants, inoculate them with downy mildew spores, and collect leaf samples for in-lab quantum sensing experiments. The anticipated outcome is to shorten the detection window from the state-of-the-art of 4-5 days to a new record of 1-2 days following the downy mildew infection.

      Moreover, this project will create new educational materials that will help PIs to update their existing curricula on QISE, biology and agriculture, to engage undergraduate students in supervised research, and to promote community outreach for local stakeholders through existing programs at NC State.

Personnel and Collaborators

  • PhD students
  • Stuart Pelletier (Fall 2022 - )
    MS., Computer Science, NC State University
    Email: sopellet at ncsu dot edu
    Tingxiang Ji (Fall 2023 - )
    MS., Computer Science, Nanjing Tech University
    Email: tji2 at ncsu dot edu
    Ming Wang (Fall 2023 - )
    MS., Computer Science, Chongqing University
    Email: mwang42 at ncsu dot edu

  • Collaborators
  • Dr. Lina Quesada (co-PI)
    Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
    NC State University
    Email: lmquesad at ncsu dot edu
    Dr. Lirong Xiang (co-PI)
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
    NC State University
    Email: lxiang3 at ncsu dot edu
    Dr. Zheshen Zhang (co-PI)
    Associate Professor
    Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
    University of Michigan
    Email: zszh at umich dot edu
    Dr. Quntao Zhuang (co-PI)
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    University of Southern California
    Email: qzhuang at usc dot edu
    Dr. Mo Li (Senior Personnel)
    Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    University of Washington
    Email: moli96 at uw dot edu

    Research Progress

  • Publications
      [1] Qubit Recycling in Entanglement Distillation
              S. Pelletier, R. Yu, G. Rouskas, J. Liu, IEEE International Conference on Quantum Computing and Engineering (IEEE QCE'23), Seattle, USA, 2023.

  • Education and Outreach Activities


    Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.