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3 February 2004 Ultra-broadband shortwave polarization modulators for high-speed free-space quantum cryptography
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Free-space quantum key exchanges between ground stations and low earth orbiting satellites will be characterized by high link losses, typically of the order of 30 dB or higher. These losses, together with the need to transmit weak Poissonian laser pulses containing on average substantially less than 0.1 photons per transmitted bit to preserve security, will result in exceedingly low channel efficiencies, typically of the order of 10-5. In order to achieve even a relatively modest secure key bit rate of 100 kbps, it will therefore often be necessary to key the transmitter at rates in excess of 10 Gbps. In this paper we outline several different methods of achieving such fast polarization keying including the use of dual drive Mach-Zehnder intensity modulators on lithium niobate in a hybrid fibre-guided modulator structures. We then propose a total integrated polarization keying structure in LiNbO3. We describe the fabrication and testing of such ultra-broadband polarization keyers suitable for use in high loss, short-wave free-space quantum key distribution systems employing silicon photon counters. We also indicate how these devices may be incorporated into quantum key satellite courier payloads and ground station terminals.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Arnan Mitchell, Michael William Austin, Paul J. Edwards, Le Nguyen Binh, Lam Anh Bui, Sana Mansoori, and Wenn Jing Lai "Ultra-broadband shortwave polarization modulators for high-speed free-space quantum cryptography", Proc. SPIE 5161, Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging, (3 February 2004);


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