5 October 2017 Approaches to a global quantum key distribution network
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Progress in realising quantum computers threatens to weaken existing public key encryption infrastructure. A global quantum key distribution (QKD) network can play a role in computational attack-resistant encryption. Such a network could use a constellation of high altitude platforms such as airships and satellites as trusted nodes to facilitate QKD between any two points on the globe on demand. This requires both space-to-ground and inter-platform links. However, the prohibitive cost of traditional satellite based development limits the experimental work demonstrating relevant technologies. To accelerate progress towards a global network, we use an emerging class of shoe-box sized spacecraft known as CubeSats. We have designed a polarization entangled photon pair source that can operate on board CubeSats. The robustness and miniature form factor of our entanglement source makes it especially suitable for performing pathfinder missions that studies QKD between two high altitude platforms. The technological outcomes of such mission would be the essential building blocks for a global QKD network.
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Tanvirul Islam, Tanvirul Islam, Robert Bedington, Robert Bedington, Alexander Ling, Alexander Ling, } "Approaches to a global quantum key distribution network", Proc. SPIE 10442, Quantum Information Science and Technology III, 1044208 (5 October 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2276301; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2276301

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