Discrete Variable Quantum Key Distribution over a Free-Space Optical Channel
AuthorGariano, John Anthony
AdvisorDjordjevic, Ivan B.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWhen light is propagated through a channel that is not a waveguide, such as a fiber, it is known as a free-space optical channel. When used in communication systems, free-space optical channels provide the advantages of high communication rates, lower power, and minimal infrastructure installation. When the free-space optical channel has a random medium in it, such as the atmosphere, the distortions will be applied to the phase. The phase distortions can lead to intensity fluctuations and additional beam spreading. To compensate for the distortions adaptive optics can be used, allowing for the stability of the system to be improved. Additionally, post processing techniques on transmitted data can also be used to improve the stability of the channel. By significantly decreasing the number of photons transmitted, a classical communication channel can be considered as a quantum channel. Encoding information into the quantum states of the transmitted photons, quantum communication can be performed. When transmitting on the order of 1 photon per pulse, classical post processing techniques cannot be used to improve the stability of the channel. To stabilize the free-space optical channel, adaptive optics can be used at the transmitter or receiver. As no measurement of the quantum state is performed by the adaptive optics system, no information in the photon is lost. In this work, quantum key distribution will be implemented over the quantum channel. The focus of this work is on the design and study of how the channel degradations can be overcome, as well as the establishment of a free-space optical channel with adaptive optics in a quantum networking testbed. Quantum key distribution systems were simulated over a 30 km maritime channel as well as over a underwater channel. For the 30 km channel, the use of multiple parallel spatial modes results in the highest increases of the secure key rate at the cost of transmitting a lower average number of photons. When adaptive optics is applied, the secure key rates have a small increase, however as the strength of the turbulence increases from weak to moderate, the relative improvement is higher. For the underwater channel, operation at lower depths is optimal as fewer background photons reach the receiver and the channel attenuation is lower. In the experimental setup, it was found that the single photon detectors that are being used are the limiting the channel loss to be at most 6 dB. The free space optical link established between the Electrical and Computer Engineering building and College of Optical Sciences uses a corner cube retro-reflector to yield a distance of 1.45 km. The channel has been characterized at various times of day to determine the strength of the atmospheric turbulence, which ranges from a scintillation index of 0.07 to 2.21. A classical communication experiment was performed, resulting in error-free transmission while the input power to the EDFA before the photodetector was consistently above -25 dBm.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Electrical & Computer Engineering