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Optical Engineering • Open Access

Adaptive spatial filtering of daytime sky noise in a satellite quantum key distribution downlink receiver
Author(s): Mark T. Gruneisen; Brett A. Sickmiller; Michael B. Flanagan; James P. Black; Kurt E. Stoltenberg; Alexander W. Duchane

Paper Abstract

Spatial filtering is an important technique for reducing sky background noise in a satellite quantum key distribution downlink receiver. Atmospheric turbulence limits the extent to which spatial filtering can reduce sky noise without introducing signal losses. Using atmospheric propagation and compensation simulations, the potential benefit of adaptive optics (AO) to secure key generation (SKG) is quantified. Simulations are performed assuming optical propagation from a low-Earth-orbit satellite to a terrestrial receiver that includes AO. Higher-order AO correction is modeled assuming a Shack–Hartmann wavefront sensor and a continuous-face-sheet deformable mirror. The effects of atmospheric turbulence, tracking, and higher-order AO on the photon capture efficiency are simulated using statistical representations of turbulence and a time-domain wave-optics hardware emulator. SKG rates are calculated for a decoy-state protocol as a function of the receiver field of view for various strengths of turbulence, sky radiances, and pointing angles. The results show that at fields of view smaller than those discussed by others, AO technologies can enhance SKG rates in daylight and enable SKG where it would otherwise be prohibited as a consequence of background optical noise and signal loss due to propagation and turbulence effects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 February 2016
PDF: 11 pages
Opt. Eng. 55(2) 026104 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.55.2.026104
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 55, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Mark T. Gruneisen, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Brett A. Sickmiller, Leidos, Inc. (United States)
Michael B. Flanagan, Leidos, Inc. (United States)
James P. Black, Boeing-SVS, Inc. (United States)
Kurt E. Stoltenberg, Boeing-SVS, Inc. (United States)
Alexander W. Duchane, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

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