QUANTUM OPTICS

Quantum-secure satellite communication

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Science  23 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6378, pp. 881
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6378.881-a

Illustration of the Chinese low-Earth-orbiting satellite, Micius

CREDIT: C. BICKEL/SCIENCE

The distribution of secret quantum keys between interested parties is a critical requirement to establish secure and unhackable communication links. Liao et al. demonstrate quantum key distribution between the Chinese low-Earth-orbiting satellite Micius and ground stations located in China and Austria. Once the quantum keys have been distributed, a secure communication channel can be established between the stations, some 7600 kilometers apart. The link is robust enough that information and images can be transmitted, as well as allowing a quantum-secured video conference call to be held between the Chinese and Austrian Academies of Sciences. A network of satellites could establish a worldwide quantum-secure internet.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 030501 (2018).

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