15-20 June 2014
Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne
America/Toronto timezone
Welcome to the 2014 CAP Congress! / Bienvenue au congrès de l'ACP 2014!

Adaptive Optics for Quantum Key Distribution between a Ground Station and a Satellite

18 Jun 2014, 19:22
W-132 (Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne)


Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne

Sudbury, Ontario
Poster (Student, Not in Competition) / Affiche (Étudiant(e), pas dans la compétition) Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Canada / Division de la physique atomique, moléculaire et photonique, Canada (DAMOPC-DPAMPC) DAMOPC Poster Session with beer (6) / Session d'affiches DPAMPC, avec bière (6)


Christopher Pugh (Institute for Quantum Computing)


Global-scale distances for Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) can be achieved by utilizing an orbiting satellite acting as an intermediate node between two or more ground stations. With QKD states encoded in photon polarization, the total number of photons collected (or equivalently, the total received optical power) is the limiting factor to the secure key generation rate. In this study we analyze the scenario of an optical uplink, ground to satellite, and how atmospheric turbulence affects the signal strength. Atmospheric turbulence mixes air of different temperatures and, hence, possessing different refractive indices along the beam path, inducing phase errors in the propagating beam. These phase errors have negligible impact on the beam in the near field, but their evolution creates temporal intensity fluctuations (scintillation), beam wander, and beam broadening along the path to the satellite. Here we investigate the use of adaptive optics to mitigate the effects of the atmosphere on the collected power of an uplink to a satellite-based receiver for QKD. We model four representative scenarios of atmospheric conditions which relate to ground station locations, and determine the impact of using an adaptive optics system to improve optical signal collection by a satellite receiver of various sizes.

Primary authors

Christopher Pugh (Institute for Quantum Computing) Jean-Francois Lavigne (Institut national d'optique)


Dr Brendon Higgins (Institute for Quantum Computing) Jean-Philippe Bourgoin (Institute for Quantum Computing) Dr Thomas Jennewein (Institute for Quantum Computing)

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