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Optical Engineering • Open Access

Optical key distribution system using atmospheric turbulence as the randomness generating function: classical optical protocol for information assurance
Author(s): Marvin D. Drake; Christophe F. Bas; David R. Gervais; Priscilla F. Renda; Daniel Townsend; Joseph J. Rushanan; Joe Francoeur; Nick C. Donnangelo; Michael D. Stenner

Paper Abstract

We describe an experimental laboratory system that generates and distributes random binary sequence bit streams between two optical terminals (labeled Alice and Bob). The random binary sequence is generated through probing the optical channel of a turbulent atmosphere between the two terminals with coincident laser beams. The two laser beams experience differential phase delays while propagating through the atmospheric optical channel. The differential phase delays are detected and sampled at each terminal to yield raw random bit streams. The random bit streams are processed to remove bit errors and, through privacy amplification, to yield a bit stream known only to Alice and Bob. The same chaotic physical mechanism that provides randomness also provides confidentiality. The laboratory system yielded secret key bit rates of a few bits/second . For external optical channels over longer channel lengths with atmospheric turbulence levels, secret bit rates of 10 s of bits/second are predicted.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 May 2013
PDF: 12 pages
Opt. Eng. 52(5) 055008 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.52.5.055008
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 52, Issue 5
Show Author Affiliations
Marvin D. Drake, The MITRE Corp. (United States)
Christophe F. Bas, The MITRE Corp. (United States)
David R. Gervais, The MITRE Corp. (United States)
Priscilla F. Renda, The MITRE Corp. (United States)
Daniel Townsend, The MITRE Corp. (United States)
Joseph J. Rushanan, The MITRE Corp. (United States)
Joe Francoeur, The MITRE Corp. (United States)
Nick C. Donnangelo, The MITRE Corp. (United States)
Michael D. Stenner, The MITRE Corp. (United States)


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