Our airborne QKD trials were mentioned in The Globe and Mail

September of 2016 was a busy month for a few reasons, one of these being the two weeks I was (with the rest of our IQC team) in Smiths Falls outside Ottawa conducting trials of our prototype quantum key distribution system. Ultimately this involved transmitting quantum signals from our ground-station quantum source to our receiver on a flying NRC aircraft—quite successfully, I might add. In the intervening time to now (and modulo one vacation to Australia and New Zealand) we wrote-up our results into a paper, the pre-print of which recently appeared on the arXiv.

At the same time (not coincidentally) an article about our work appeared in the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail—page 1 on Dec. 21, in our region—as well as the Waterloo Region Record (pg. 2, Dec. 22). You can read the online edition of the article.

So that's neat.

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Published in Optics Express: Free-space quantum key distribution to a moving receiver

We take our quantum key distribution system out of the laboratory and mount it in the back of a small truck. Integrating a two-axis pointing system at both sites, polarization correction, and time-of-flight compensation, we demonstrate quantum key distribution from a stationary transmitter to a receiver moving at an angular speed (relative to the transmitter) equivalent to the maximum angular speed of a typical low-Earth-orbit satellite.

J.-P. Bourgoin, B. L. Higgins, N. Gigov, C. Holloway, C. J. Pugh, S. Kaiser, M. Cranmer, and T. Jennewein
Optics Express 23, 33437–47 (2015)

Bonus: Read the IQC's news release, which covers both this and the previous paper for a general audience.

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Published in Physical Review A: Experimental quantum key distribution with simulated ground-to-satellite photon losses and processing limitations

Fundamental laws of quantum physics guarantee the security of encryption keys generated through quantum key distribution, in contrast to standard encryption techniques which rely on assumptions about an eavesdropper's computational ability. That said, special technology is necessary to facilitate quantum key distribution transmissions between parties that are more than a couple of hundred kilometers apart.

A near-term solution is to use an orbiting satellite as a trusted quantum receiver. Here we detail specifically chosen algorithms that make up an implementation of quantum key distribution, suitable for a satellite receiver platform. We examine these algorithms' computational requirements while demonstrating them experimentally as we emulate the variable channel losses that would be experienced during a satellite pass (following those we published about previously).

J.-P. Bourgoin, N. Gigov, B. L. Higgins, Z. Yan, E. Meyer-Scott, A. K. Khandani, N. Lütkenhaus, and T. Jennewein

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Published in Journal of Lightwave Technology: Novel high-speed polarization source for decoy-state BB84 quantum key distribution over free space and satellite links

Here we detail our work on optoelectronics implementing a high-speed high-fidelity source of optical quantum states for quantum encryption.

Z. Yan, E. Meyer-Scott, J.-P. Bourgoin, B. L. Higgins, N. Gigov, A. MacDonald, H. Hübel, and T. Jennewein
J. Lightwave Tech. 31, 1399–408 (2013)

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Published in New Journal of Physics: A comprehensive design and performance analysis of low Earth orbit satellite quantum communication

We perform a thorough theoretical analysis of the expected key rate, success of Bell test, and teleportation distance of experiments performed between the ground and a satellite in low Earth orbit. Our findings demonstrate that successful, regularly repeatable demonstrations are feasible with current technologies and relatively small telescopes.

J.-P. Bourgoin, E. Meyer-Scott, B. L. Higgins, B. Helou, C. Erven, H. Hübel, B. Kumar, D. Hudson, I. D'Souza, R. Girard, R. Laflamme, and T. Jennewein
New J. Phys. 15, 023006 (2013)

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Published in Classical and Quantum Gravity: Fundamental quantum optics experiments conceivable with satellites

An ensemble cast detail the new physics that could be explored by taking quantum optics experiments into space. My first publication as part of Prof. Thomas Jennewein's group, I contributed details about near-term tests and our present work at the Institute for Quantum Computing, and helped out with logistics and proofing.

D. Rideout, T. Jennewein, G. Amelino-Camelia, T. F. Demarie, B. L. Higgins, A. Kempf, A. Kent, R. Laflamme, X. Ma, R. B. Mann, E. Martin-Martinez, N. C. Menicucci, J. Moffat, C. Simon, R. Sorkin, L. Smolin, and D. R. Terno
Class. Quantum Grav. 29, 224011 (2012)

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