Resource-efficient adaptive Bayesian tracking of magnetic fields with a quantum sensor

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4 Citations (Scopus)
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Single-spin quantum sensors, for example based on nitrogen-vacancy centres in diamond, provide nanoscale mapping of magnetic fields. In applications where the magnetic field may be changing rapidly, total sensing time is crucial and must be minimised. Bayesian estimation and adaptive experiment optimisation can speed up the sensing process by reducing the number of measurements required. These protocols consist of computing and updating the probability distribution of the magnetic field based on measurement outcomes and of determining optimized acquisition settings for the next measurement. However, the computational steps feeding into the measurement settings of the next iteration must be performed quickly enough to allow real-time updates. This article addresses the issue of computational speed by implementing an approximate Bayesian estimation technique, where probability distributions are approximated by a finite sum of Gaussian functions. Given that only three parameters are required to fully describe a Gaussian density, we find that in many cases, the magnetic field probability distribution can be described by fewer than ten parameters, achieving a reduction in computation time by factor 10 compared to existing approaches. For, only a small decrease in computation time is achieved. However, in these regimes, the proposed Gaussian protocol outperforms the existing one in tracking accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number195801
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number19
Early online date23 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2021


  • Bayesian filtering
  • magnetic field tracking
  • nitrogen-vacancy centre
  • quantum metrology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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