Ross Donaldson, Dmytro Kundys, Aurora Maccarone, Robert Henderson, Gerald S. Buller, and Alessandro Fedrizzi, “Towards combined quantum bit detection and spatial tracking using an arrayed single-photon sensor,” Opt. Express 29, 8181-8198 (2021). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.416143
Experimental quantum key distribution through free-space channels requires accurate pointing-and-tracking to co-align telescopes for efficient transmission. The hardware requirements for the sender and receiver could be drastically reduced by combining the detection of quantum bits and spatial tracking signal using two-dimensional single-photon detector arrays. Here, we apply a two-dimensional CMOS single-photon avalanche diode detector array to measure and monitor the single-photon level interference of a free-space time-bin receiver interferometer while simultaneously tracking the spatial position of the single-photon level signal. We verify an angular field-of-view of 1.28° and demonstrate a post-processing technique to reduce background noise. The experimental results show a promising future for two-dimensional single-photon detectors in low-light level free-space communications, such as quantum communications.