AFRL, Brookhaven National Laboratory sign MOU to strengthen quantum communication, networking collaboration

  • Published
  • By Marc DeNofio  
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

Rome, N.Y. (AFRL) – The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory signed a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, on Dec. 14, 2023 to strengthen quantum communication and networking collaboration.    

The agreement links the collaborative research efforts of AFRL’s Distributed Quantum Networking Testbed Local Area Network, or LAN, in Rome, New York, with those of Brookhaven Lab’s Wide Area Quantum Network, or WAN, in the New York City region. 

The collaboration introduces the Empire State Quantum Network quantum hub, the intent of which is to investigate near- and long-term opportunities in quantum networking. 

“Two titans of cutting-edge public research in New York are coming together to help us reach the next frontier in quantum computing,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.  “As a champion of Central New York’s Rome Air Force Research Lab and Long Island’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, I am proud to see these two great New York institutions join forces to advance quantum research and develop the Empire State Quantum Network. This collaborative effort will ensure that New York — from Oneida County to Long Island — is at the forefront of next-generation quantum communications discoveries.” 

According to Don Telesca, chief of the AFRL Information Directorate Quantum Information Sciences and Technology branch, the collaboration between AFRL and Brookhaven Lab will expand their existing partnership by leveraging current programs and approaches, adapting to the changing and improving scientific technical knowledge in quantum networking and incorporating the best understanding of opportunities and challenges in Quantum Information Science and Technology, or QIST, for the nation.  

“AFRL is delighted to partner with Brookhaven Lab,” said Michael Hayduk, deputy director of AFRL Information Directorate.  

Hayduk stated that the agreement places New York State in a unique position to strategically link two of the nation’s leading research laboratories.

"This memorandum of understanding reflects excellent mutual relations between Brookhaven National Lab and AFRL," Hayduk said. "We stand ready to expand our cutting-edge explorations in quantum information science research to transform technology—and to secure the nation." 

The MOU will strengthen efforts for joint research and provide the key infrastructure and support needed  to maintain national security and grow the U.S. quantum technology industry — efforts guided by the National Quantum Initiative, or NQI, Act, said Hayduk. 

“Quantum networking and other applications of quantum science are capturing the interest of science, industry and indeed the world right now. They have the potential to be among the most important technological frontiers of the 21st century,” said Brookhaven National Laboratory Director JoAnne Hewett. “This partnership between Brookhaven Lab and the Air Force Research Laboratory will leverage our respective strengths to meet the many challenges in developing the quantum devices required for long-distance networks. We are very excited to be working in partnership with AFRL to realize the potential of large-scale quantum communication systems and other applications of this emerging technology.” 

The MOU will focus on the interchange of publicly available research materials related to quantum network transduction and quantum network node connectivity requirements; future collaborative quantum communications and networking projects; and collaboration on interoperability engineering issues related to the connection of the Brookhaven and AFRL campuses through a fiber-based quantum network. 

“This partnership will keep the momentum going in QIS, which has seen quite a few exciting advancements in the last year, including expanding the lifetime of qubits to new quantum network designs that hold great promise,” AFRL Senior Scientist Kathy Anne-Soderberg said. “The research both AFRL and Brookhaven are now conducting is helping shape the future Quantum Information Science and Technology applications, particularly in the area of quantum networking.” 

Gabriella Carini, who is responsible for the quantum network effort at Brookhaven Lab, stated AFRL is a great partner with much knowledge in QIS. 

“The Brookhaven Lab-Stony Brook University quantum network is expanding to reach several other nodes in the state and including different quantum technologies,” Carini said. “This partnership will push research in quantum communication and networking to overcome some of the key challenges to reach the maturity needed to demonstrate impactful applications.” 

About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit

About Brookhaven National Laboratory  

Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit