Industrial application for global quantum communication
- Conference date: 20–23 September 2010
- Location: Umhlanga, South Africa
In the last decade the quantum communication community has witnessed great advances in photonic quantum cryptography technology with the research, development and commercialization of automated Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) devices. These first generation devices are however bottlenecked by the achievable spatial coverage. This is due to the intrinsic absorption of the quantum particle into the communication medium. As QKD is of paramount importance in the future ICT landscape, various innovative solutions have been developed and tested to expand the spatial coverage of these networks such as the Quantum City initiative in Durban, South Africa. To expand this further into a global QKD-secured network, recent efforts have focussed on high-altitude free-space techniques through the use of satellites. This couples the QKD-secured Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) with secured ground-tosatellite links as access points to a global network. Such a solution, however, has critical limitations that reduce its commercial feasibility. As parallel step to the development of satellitebased global QKD networks, we investigate the use of the commercial aircrafts' network as secure transport mechanisms in a global QKD network. This QKD-secured global network will provide a robust infrastructure to create, distribute and manage encryption keys between the MANs of the participating cities.
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