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Proceedings Paper

A mission concept for a GEO based quantum key distribution services using entangled photons
Author(s): E. Wille; H. Hauschildt; C. Heese; J. Huesing; B. Garcia Gutierrez; Z. Sodnik; C. Elia
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Paper Abstract

We present a mission proposal to provide a space based quantum key distribution service. Using entangled photon pairs distributed to two ground stations with a simultaneous double downlink establishes a secret key directly at the user locations. The satellite and the payload do not generate or process any secret key information and the security design, certification and operation of the key management can be restricted to the user locations on ground. Positioning the satellite in GEO enables covering Europe and intercontinental connections, allows flexible service planning to cope with weather constraints and removes the need for coarse tracking telescopes in space and on ground while allowing long integration times. The large link distance and the combined losses of two down links require large optical terminals in space and on ground to obtain a usable secure key generation rate. We will present results from an ESA internal Phase 0 study concentrating on the payload design and performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 March 2020
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 11272, Free-Space Laser Communications XXXII, 112720M (2 March 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2545706
Show Author Affiliations
E. Wille, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
H. Hauschildt, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
C. Heese, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
J. Huesing, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
B. Garcia Gutierrez, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Z. Sodnik, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
C. Elia, European Space Agency (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11272:
Free-Space Laser Communications XXXII
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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