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4 March 2019 Low size, weight and power quantum key distribution system for small form unmanned aerial vehicles
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Proceedings Volume 10910, Free-Space Laser Communications XXXI; 1091014 (2019)
Event: SPIE LASE, 2019, San Francisco, California, United States
The security of sensitive information exchange has become a major topic in recent years. Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) provides a highly secure approach to share random encryption keys between two communication terminals. In contrast with traditional public cryptography methods, QKD security relies on the foundations of quantum mechanics and not on computational capabilities. This makes QKD unconditionally secure (if properly implemented) and it is envisaged as a main component in the next–generation cryptographic technology. QKD has already been successfully demonstrated in different contexts such as fibre-to- fibre, and free-space ground-toground as well as ground-to-air communications. However, Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) constraints have prevented previous implementations to be demonstrated on small form airborne platforms such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites (HAPS). Project Q-DOS aims to deliver a QKD module using compact, cutting-edge photonic waveguide technology, which will allow low-SWaP aerospace requirements to be met. This module uses 1550 nm single photons to implement a BB84 protocol, and will enable the demonstration of a secure, high-speed optical communication data link (~0.5 Gbps) between a drone and a ground station. The targeted link range is 1 km. The airborne communications module, including the QKD terminal, tracking modules, traditional communications systems, optics and control electronics, must not exceed a mass of 5 kg and a power consumption of 20 W.
Conference Presentation
© (2019) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
C. Quintana, P. Sibson, G. Erry, Y. Thueux, E. Kingston, T. Ismail, G. Faulkner, J. Kennard, K. Gebremicael, C. Clark, C. Erven, S. Chuard, M. Watson, J. Rarity, and D. O'Brien "Low size, weight and power quantum key distribution system for small form unmanned aerial vehicles", Proc. SPIE 10910, Free-Space Laser Communications XXXI, 1091014 (4 March 2019);


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