Scientists from 41 European research and industrial organizations recently sent secure, quantum encrypted information over an eight-node, mesh network. By creating a network with an average link length of 20 to 30 kilometers, with the longest link being 83 kilometers, the researchers say they have broken all previous records and taken a major step toward the practical implementation of secure, quantum-encrypted communication networks.
Launched in late 2008, the quantum key distribution (QKD) demonstration involved secure telephone communications and videoconferencing, as well as a rerouting experiment that demonstrated the functionality of the SEcure COmmunication network based on Quantum Cryptography (SECOQC).
"In our paper we have put forward, for the first time, a systematic design that allows unrestricted scalability and interoperability of QKD technologies," the researchers write in their recent journal paper "The SECOQC Key Distribution Network in Vienna." The paper describes the operation of the network and offers an initial estimate for the maximum number of keys that can be exchanged on a QKD network.
From The Institute of Physics
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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