Quantum illumination protocols can be implemented to improve imaging performance in the low photon flux regime even in the presence of both background light and sensor noise. However, the extent to which this noise can be rejected is limited by the rate of accidental correlations resulting from the detection of photon or noise events that are not quantum-correlated. Here we present an improved protocol that rejects up to ≳ 99.9 % of background light and sensor noise in the low photon flux regime, improving upon our previous results by an order of magnitude. This improvement, which requires no information regarding the scene or noise statistics, will enable extremely low light quantum imaging techniques to be applied in environments previously thought difficult and be an important addition to the development of covert imaging, quantum microscopes, and quantum LIDAR.
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