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ISRO Achieves Breakthrough In Quantum Communication, Precursor For Quantum Satellite

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India’s space agency has for the first time in the country demonstrated free-space quantum communication over a distance of 300 metres, a precursor to using satellites for transmitting highly encrypted data for strategic purposes.

The demonstration also validated the use of India’s homegrown Navic receiver for synchronising time between the transmitter and receiver modules and live videoconferencing using quantum-key-encrypted signals. This is a major milestone achievement for unconditionally secured satellite data communication using quantum technologies, Indian Space Research Organisation said in a statement on Monday.

The free-space Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) was demonstrated at Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, between two line-of-sight buildings within the campus. The experiment was performed at night, in order to ensure that there is no interference from the direct sunlight.

Traditional computers work by manipulating bits that exist in a binary state: 0 or a 1. Quantum computers, however, encode information as ‘quantum bits’ or qubits, and are not limited to the two states. As a result, they are much faster and more powerful than normal computers. This is also the field the most global companies as well as countries are investing heavily in Quantum research

The Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology underpins Quantum Communication technology that ensures unconditional data security by virtue of the principles of quantum mechanics, which is not possible with conventional encryption systems. The conventional cryptosystems used for data-encryption rely on the complexity of mathematical algorithms, whereas the security offered by quantum communication is based on the laws of Physics. Therefore, quantum cryptography is considered as ‘future-proof’, since no future advancements in computational power can break quantum-cryptosystem, Isro said.

In February, researchers at the Raman Research Institute had demonstrated free-space QKD between two buildings at RRI across an atmospheric free space channel.

India has national programme called Quantum-Enabled Science and Technology (QuEST), where researchers from institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Indian Space Research Organisation and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, are working on quantum computing and allied areas, including quantum safe cryptography and quantum communication.

India’s space agency has for the first time in the country demonstrated free-space quantum communication over a distance of 300 metres, a precursor to using satellites for transmitting highly encrypted data for strategic purposes.

The demonstration also validated the use of India’s homegrown Navic receiver for synchronising time between the transmitter and receiver modules and live videoconferencing using quantum-key-encrypted signals. This is a major milestone achievement for unconditionally secured satellite data communication using quantum technologies, Indian Space Research Organisation said in a statement on Monday.

The free-space Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) was demonstrated at Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, between two line-of-sight buildings within the campus. The experiment was performed at night, in order to ensure that there is no interference from the direct sunlight.

Traditional computers work by manipulating bits that exist in a binary state: 0 or a 1. Quantum computers, however, encode information as ‘quantum bits’ or qubits, and are not limited to the two states. As a result, they are much faster and more powerful than normal computers. This is also the field the most global companies as well as countries are investing heavily in Quantum research

The Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology underpins Quantum Communication technology that ensures unconditional data security by virtue of the principles of quantum mechanics, which is not possible with conventional encryption systems. The conventional cryptosystems used for data-encryption rely on the complexity of mathematical algorithms, whereas the security offered by quantum communication is based on the laws of Physics. Therefore, quantum cryptography is considered as ‘future-proof’, since no future advancements in computational power can break quantum-cryptosystem, Isro said.

In February, researchers at the Raman Research Institute had demonstrated free-space QKD between two buildings at RRI across an atmospheric free space channel.

India has national programme called Quantum-Enabled Science and Technology (QuEST), where researchers from institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Indian Space Research Organisation and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, are working on quantum computing and allied areas, including quantum safe cryptography and quantum communication.

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