ISRO: Demonstration of Quantum Communication

Scientists from Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre and Physical Research Laboratory recently demonstrated Quantum Entanglement, in a major step forward towards satellite-based quantum communication.

Where was the experiment conducted?

Scientists conducted hack-proof communication between two places, using real-time Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). These places were separated by 300 meters.

What is Quantum communication?

Quantum Communication is one of the safest ways to connect two places with high levels of quantum and code cryptography, which cannot be decrypted or broken by an external entity. If any hacker tries to crack message in quantum communication, it changes its form in a way that would alert the sender. It would also cause the message to be altered or deleted. Quantum communication is a field of applied quantum physics. It is closely related to quantum teleportation and information processing. The most developed and well-known application of quantum cryptography is quantum key distribution (QKD), which describes the use of quantum mechanical effects for performing cryptographic tasks or for breaking cryptographic systems.

Creation of atmospheric channel

During the demonstration, scientists created an atmospheric channel on ground in a bid to enable sharing of quantum-secure text, quantum-assisted two-way video calling and image transmission. During this, various images were encrypted using generated quantum key. These images were transmitted over a classical channel from one building to another building. They were decrypted in real-time, at receiving terminal.

How was this feat achieved?

This feat was achieved, as scientists developed several key technologies like BBM92 protocol implementation, robust & high brightness entangled photon source (EPS), polarization compensation technique, NavIC enabled synchronization, etc. The cryptographic application software suite with integrated quantum security was also developed and demonstrated for text, video and image encryption or decryption.

Quantum Key distribution (QKD)

QKD is the technology behind Quantum Communication technology. It ensures unconditional data security by using the principles of quantum mechanics.  These crypto-systems are used for data-encryption and they rely on complexity of mathematical algorithms.

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