The SECOQC quantum key distribution network in Vienna

Author(s): A. Zeilinger, D. Stucki, A. J. Shields, A. W. Sharpe, L. Salvail, S. Robyr, G. Ribordy, E. Querasser, A. Poppe, J. B. Page, S. Nauerth, L. Monat, O. Maurhardt, M. Suda, C. Tamas, T. Themel, H. Zbinden, Z. L. Yuan, I. Wimberger, H. Weinfurter, H. Weier, N. Walenta, F. Vannel, R. Tualle-Brouri, P. Trinkler, A. Treiber, Y. Thoma, R. T. Thew, T. Matyus, A. Marhold, M. Fuerst, S. Fossier, S. Fasel, J. F. Dynes, M. Dianati, E. Diamanti, T. Debuisschert, W. Boxleitner, J. Bouda, C. Barreiro, R. Alléaume, C. Pacher, J. D. Gautier, O. Gay, N. Gisin, N. Lütkenhaus, T. Lorünser, J. Lodewyck, R. Lieger, M. Legré, T. Laenger, G. Humer, H. Hübel, M. Hentschel, Y. Hasani, A. Happe, P. Grangier, M. Peev

Journal: New Journal of Physics

Volume: 11

Page(s): 075001

Year: 2009

DOI Number: 10.1088/1367-2630/11/7/075001

Link: Link to publication


In this paper, we present the quantum key distribution (QKD) network designed and implemented by the European project SEcure COmmunication based on Quantum Cryptography (SECOQC) (2004–2008), unifying the efforts of 41 research and industrial organizations. The paper summarizes the SECOQC approach to QKD networks with a focus on the trusted repeater paradigm. It discusses the architecture and functionality of the SECOQC trusted repeater prototype, which has been put into operation in Vienna in 2008 and publicly demonstrated in the framework of a SECOQC QKD conference held from October 8 to 10, 2008. The demonstration involved one-time pad encrypted telephone communication, a secure (AES encryption protected) videoconference with all deployed nodes and a number of rerouting experiments, highlighting basic mechanisms of the SECOQC network functionality.

The paper gives an overview of the eight point-to-point network links in the prototype and their underlying technology: three plug and play systems by id Quantique, a one way weak pulse system from Toshiba Research in the UK, a coherent one-way system by GAP Optique with the participation of id Quantique and the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (formerly ARC21), an entangled photons system by the University of Vienna and the AIT, a continuousvariables system by Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and THALES Research and Technology with the participation of Université Libre de Bruxelles, and a free space link by the Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich connecting two nodes situated in adjacent buildings (line of sight 80 m).

The average link length is between 20 and 30 km, the longest link being 83 km. The paper presents the architecture and functionality of the principal networking agent—the SECOQC node module, which enables the authentic classical

communication required for key distillation, manages the generated key material, determines a communication path between any destinations in the network, and realizes end-to-end secure transport of key material between these destinations.

The paper also illustrates the operation of the network in a number of typical exploitation regimes and gives an initial estimate of the network transmission capacity, defined as the maximum amount of key that can be exchanged, or alternatively the amount of information that can be transmitted with information

theoretic security, between two arbitrary nodes.

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