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1 September 2015 Secure satellite communication using multi-photon tolerant quantum communication protocol
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Abstract
This paper proposes and analyzes the potential of a multi-photon tolerant quantum communication protocol to secure satellite communication. For securing satellite communication, quantum cryptography is the only known unconditionally secure method. A number of recent experiments have shown feasibility of satellite-aided global quantum key distribution (QKD) using different methods such as: Use of entangled photon pairs, decoy state methods, and entanglement swapping. The use of single photon in these methods restricts the distance and speed over which quantum cryptography can be applied.

Contemporary quantum cryptography protocols like the BB84 and its variants suffer from the limitation of reaching the distances of only Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at the data rates of few kilobits per second. This makes it impossible to develop a general satellite-based secure global communication network using the existing protocols. The method proposed in this paper allows secure communication at the heights of the Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites. The benefits of the proposed method are two-fold: First it enables the realization of a secure global communication network based on satellites and second it provides unconditional security for satellite networks at GEO heights. The multi-photon approach discussed in this paper ameliorates the distance and speed issues associated with quantum cryptography through the use of contemporary laser communication (lasercom) devices. This approach can be seen as a step ahead towards global quantum communication.
© (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Bhagyashri Darunkar, Nikhil Punekar, and Pramode K. Verma "Secure satellite communication using multi-photon tolerant quantum communication protocol", Proc. SPIE 9615, Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging XIII, 961509 (1 September 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2188575
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