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Proceedings Paper

Free-space quantum cryptography in daylight
Author(s): Richard J. Hughes; William T. Buttler; Paul G. Kwiat; Steve K. Lamoreaux; George L. Morgan; Jane E. Nordholt; C. Glen Peterson
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Paper Abstract

Quantum cryptography is an emerging technology in which two parties may simultaneously generate shared, secret cryptographic key material using the transmission of quantum states of light. The security of these transmissions is based on the inviolability of the laws of quantum mechanics and information-theoretically secure post-processing methods. An adversary can neither successfully tap the quantum transmissions, nor evade detection, owing to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. In this paper we describe the theory of quantum cryptography, and the most recent results from our experimental free-space system with which we have demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of quantum key generation over a point-to-point outdoor atmospheric path in daylight. We achieved a transmission distance of 0.5 km, which was limited only by the length of the test range. Our results provide strong evidence that cryptographic key material could be generated on demand between a ground station and a satellite (or between two satellites), allowing a satellite to be securely re-keyed on orbit. We present a feasibility analysis of surface-to-satellite quantum key generation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 2000
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3932, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XII, (2 May 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.384303
Show Author Affiliations
Richard J. Hughes, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
William T. Buttler, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Paul G. Kwiat, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Steve K. Lamoreaux, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
George L. Morgan, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Jane E. Nordholt, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
C. Glen Peterson, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3932:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XII
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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