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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Space-to-ground quantum key distribution
Author(s): T. Scheidl; J. Handsteiner; D. Rauch; R. Ursin

Paper Abstract

Quantum key distribution (QKD) can in principle offer unconditional security by making use of the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics. In practice, this is typically achieved by preparing individual photons in quantum superposition states and sending them to a remote receiver. To date, most commercially available QKD systems rely on the transmission of the photons via optical fibers, which, due to channel loss and detector noise, limits the distance over which QKD is feasible to a few hundred kilometers. Alternatively, satellite-based QKD facilitates low photon loss and negligible signal disturbance and offers a viable solution for establishing a global scale quantum network. Recently, a quantum science mission of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in collaboration with the Austrian Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the University of Vienna aimed at a satellite-based intercontinental quantum-key relay. Using the Chinese Quantum Science Satellite “Micius” as a trusted relay, a quantum network consisting of three optical ground stations located in China (Xinglong, Nanshan) and Austria (Graz-Lustbühel) has been demonstrated successfully. Here we report on the development of a quantum receiving module, installed at the Satellite Laser Ranging Station in Graz (Austria) capable of implementing the so-called decoy-state QKD protocol in a downlink scenario from the LEO satellite “Micius”. Furthermore, we will present the experimental results obtained during several downlinks from the Chinese satellite focusing on the performance of the Austrian receiving station.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2019
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 11180, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018, 111801W (12 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2535987
Show Author Affiliations
T. Scheidl, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (Austria)
Univ. of Vienna (Austria)
J. Handsteiner, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (Austria)
Univ. of Vienna (Austria)
D. Rauch, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (Austria)
Univ. of Vienna (Austria)
R. Ursin, Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (Austria)
Univ. of Vienna (Austria)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11180:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018
Zoran Sodnik; Nikos Karafolas; Bruno Cugny, Editor(s)

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