Time bin quantum key distribution protocols for free space communications

  • Alfonso Tello (Speaker)
  • Elizabeth Eso (Contributor)
  • Donaldson, R. J. (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a promising technology to enable secure cryptography after quantum computers have been developed. It allows for a key growing protocol that permits creating absolutely random keys to be used in the onetime pad codification scheme. Enabling a global QKD network is one of the final goals of the field. However, to do this with conventional optical fibres presents a fundamental limitation due to their intrinsic loss. Free-space, and specifically satellite links, have been proposed as an alternative and have gathered a lot of interest in recent years. They are considered one of the best candidates to enable a global network. Free-space QKD implementations are dominated by polarisation encoding protocols due to the relative transparency of the atmosphere to polarization. Nonetheless, time-bin and phase codifications offer some advantages and can be practical thanks to new passive interferometer designs. In this paper, the first free-space Coherent One-Way (COW) implementation is reported, some design considerations are commented, and the results of the experiment are shown. These show how time-bin/phase codifications are interesting candidates for free-space QKD.
Period2022 → …
Event titleSPIE Optics + Photonics 2022
Event typeConference
LocationSan Diego, United StatesShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational