Conference 11881 > Paper 11881-8
Paper 11881-8

Towards free-space quantum key distribution with a 2D single-photon sensor

In person: 28 September 2021 • 3:20 PM - 3:40 PM BST | Lomond Auditorium


Applications of quantum key distribution are becoming more diverse due to the increase in interest in the secure key sharing protocol. Transmission through free-space channels has risen in popularity in recent years, primarily due to global coverage using satellite platforms. However, free-space channels come with challenges that need to be addressed, such as; diffraction loss, background noise, pointing-and-tracking, and atmospheric aberration. Novel design and use of state-of-the-art detector technologies in quantum receivers can help alleviate these difficulties. This paper presents and discusses the implementation of 2D single-photon sensor technology for free-space quantum key distribution. We present an experimental method that utilizes independent single-photon avalanche diode pixel read-out to reduce background noise contributions while simultaneously increasing optical field-of-view. Finally, we show and discuss single-photon level beaconing capabilities for pointing and tracking.


Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Dr Ross Donaldson is a Research Fellow at Heriot-Watt University and holds an Early Career Research Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering. His research interests are primarily associated with quantum communication technologies, including; novel photonic and optical devices for free-space QKD, satellite and high-altitude platform based quantum communications, and quantum communication technology for space. Throughout his research career, he has worked on a range of next-generation quantum communications technologies, including quantum digital signatures, quantum amplification, quantum random number generation, and single-photon array detectors.
Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)