2021-06-20

New progress in the research and development of simple quantum key distribution system: it can be used in conjunction with the current optical fiber telecommunication network

By yqqlm yqqlm

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New progress in the research and development of simple quantum key distribution system: it can be used in conjunction with the current optical fiber telecommunication network

QKD is very useful in any security-first scenario, because its key exchange process provides unparalleled security-such as sending between hospitals Encrypted verification of health data or bank transfers.

During the field test, the research team demonstrated a simple quantum key distribution system on the optical fiber network of Padua. The transmitter is located in the ICT center of UniPD, and the receiving end is located in the mathematics department of the school, with a 3.4-kilometer optical fiber in the middle.

They pointed out that the simple QKD system can maintain long-term stable operation, and can generate encryption keys with quantum security at a sustained rate on standard telecommunications infrastructure.

Marco Avesani added: QKD systems usually require complex stabilization systems and additional dedicated synchronization hardware. However, the complete QKD system they developed can be used directly through standard telecommunications equipment interfaces without additional hardware for synchronization. More importantly, this device can be easily installed in a common rack/cabinet in a computer room (in a standard-compatible 19-inch form factor).

New progress in the research and development of simple quantum key distribution system: it can be used in conjunction with the current optical fiber telecommunication network(1)

The quantum required to generate QKD The research team has developed a set of novel encoders called “iPOGNAC” to manipulate the polarization of a single photon, and this function is also quite beneficial for free space/quantum satellite communications where it is difficult to perform recalibration.

Luca Calderaro said: This technology is ready when they transfer the QKD system from the laboratory to the test site, so there is no need to perform the time-consuming, labor-intensive, and error-prone tasks that most QKD systems must carry out. Calibration process.

In addition, researchers have developed a new synchronization algorithm called Qubit4Sync for synchronization between two QKD user machines. And the new system does not need to use special additional hardware / additional channels for synchronization, but uses a software solution + the same optical signal used for QKD. This makes the entire system smaller and lower cost, and therefore easier to be integrated into the existing optical fiber communication network.

The test results show that the researchers took the two QKD terminals to two university buildings about 3.4 kilometers apart in Padua, and carried out related activities on the two existing underground optical fiber lines of the school. experiment.

These optical fibers support the transmission of qubit-based channel data and auxiliary information through traditional channels. Giulio Foletto pointed out that the field test was very successful. They showed that this simple QKD system can generate keys at a rate of kilobits per second, can work in an out-of-laboratory scene that requires little manual intervention, and is very simple and quick to install.

In the public demonstration, the researchers realized a quantum secure video call between the president of the University of Padua and the head of the mathematics department.

While performance is comparable to other commercial QKD systems, they use fewer components and are easier to integrate into existing fiber optic networks.

Thanks to its full set of independent QKD system technology development experience, the research team has contributed to a company called ThinkQuantum srl, and is committed to commercializing related technologies.

Looking forward, they hope to further reduce the size of the equipment and make the system more robust in the same fiber (resisting other optical noise).