21 November 2014 Adaptive spatial filtering for daytime satellite quantum key distribution
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Abstract
The rate of secure key generation (SKG) in quantum key distribution (QKD) is adversely affected by optical noise and loss in the quantum channel. In a free-space atmospheric channel, the scattering of sunlight into the channel can lead to quantum bit error ratios (QBERs) sufficiently large to preclude SKG. Furthermore, atmospheric turbulence limits the degree to which spatial filtering can reduce sky noise without introducing signal losses. A system simulation quantifies the potential benefit of tracking and higher-order adaptive optics (AO) technologies to SKG rates in a daytime satellite engagement scenario. The simulations are performed assuming propagation from a low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite to a terrestrial receiver that includes an AO system comprised of a Shack-Hartmann wave-front sensor (SHWFS) and a continuous-face-sheet deformable mirror (DM). The effects of atmospheric turbulence, tracking, and higher-order AO on the photon capture efficiency are simulated using statistical representations of turbulence and a time-domain waveoptics hardware emulator. Secure key generation rates are then calculated for the decoy state QKD protocol as a function of the receiver field of view (FOV) for various pointing angles. The results show that at FOVs smaller than previously considered, AO technologies can enhance SKG rates in daylight and even enable SKG where it would otherwise be prohibited as a consequence of either background optical noise or signal loss due to turbulence effects.
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Mark T. Gruneisen, Brett A. Sickmiller, Michael B. Flanagan, James P. Black, Kurt E. Stoltenberg, Alexander W. Duchane, "Adaptive spatial filtering for daytime satellite quantum key distribution", Proc. SPIE 9254, Emerging Technologies in Security and Defence II; and Quantum-Physics-based Information Security III, 925404 (21 November 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2071278; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2071278
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