results for au:Anisimova_E in:quant-ph
Single-photon detectors in space must retain useful performance characteristics despite being bombarded with sub-atomic particles. Mitigating the effects of this space radiation is vital to enabling new space applications which require high-fidelity single-photon detection. To this end, we conducted proton radiation tests of various models of avalanche photodiodes (APDs) and one model of photomultiplier tube potentially suitable for satellite-based quantum communications. The samples were irradiated with 106 MeV protons at doses approximately equivalent to lifetimes of 0.6 , 6, 12 and 24 months in a low-Earth polar orbit. Although most detection properties were preserved, including efficiency, timing jitter and afterpulsing probability, all APD samples demonstrated significant increases in dark count rate (DCR) due to radiation-induced damage, many orders of magnitude higher than the 200 counts per second (cps) required for ground-to-satellite quantum communications. We then successfully demonstrated the mitigation of this DCR degradation through the use of deep cooling, to as low as -86 degrees C. This achieved DCR below the required 200 cps over the 24 months orbit duration. DCR was further reduced by thermal annealing at temperatures of +50 to +100 degrees C.
Avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are a practical option for space-based quantum communications requiring single-photon detection. However, radiation damage to APDs significantly increases their dark count rates and reduces their useful lifetimes in orbit. We show that high-power laser annealing of irradiated APDs of three different models (Excelitas C30902SH, Excelitas SLiK, and Laser Components SAP500S2) heals the radiation damage and substantially restores low dark count rates. Of nine samples, the maximum dark count rate reduction factor varies between 5.3 and 758 when operating at minus 80 degrees Celsius. The illumination power to reach these reduction factors ranges from 0.8 to 1.6 W. Other photon detection characteristics, such as photon detection efficiency, timing jitter, and afterpulsing probability, remain mostly unaffected. These results herald a promising method to extend the lifetime of a quantum satellite equipped with APDs.
Satellite-based quantum terminals are a feasible way to extend the reach of quantum communication protocols such as quantum key distribution (QKD) to the global scale. To that end, prior demonstrations have shown QKD transmissions from airborne platforms to receivers on ground, but none have shown QKD transmissions from ground to a moving aircraft, the latter scenario having simplicity and flexibility advantages for a hypothetical satellite. Here, we demonstrate QKD from a ground transmitter to a receiver prototype mounted on an airplane in flight. We have specifically designed our receiver prototype to consist of many components that are compatible with the environment and resource constraints of a satellite. Coupled with our relocatable ground station system, optical links with distances of 3-10 km were maintained and quantum signals transmitted while traversing angular rates similar to those observed of low-Earth-orbit satellites. For some passes of the aircraft over the ground station, links were established within 10 s of position data transmission, and with link times of a few minutes and received quantum bit error rates typically 3-5%, we generated secure keys up to 868 kb in length. By successfully generating secure keys over several different pass configurations, we demonstrate the viability of technology that constitutes a quantum receiver satellite payload and provide a blueprint for future satellite missions to build upon.
A quantum key distribution system may be probed by an eavesdropper Eve by sending in bright light from the quantum channel and analyzing the back-reflections. We propose and experimentally demonstrate a setup for mounting such a Trojan-horse attack. We show it in operation against the quantum cryptosystem Clavis2 from ID~Quantique, as a proof-of-principle. With just a few back-reflected photons, Eve discerns Bob's secret basis choice, and thus the raw key bit in the Scarani-Acín-Ribordy-Gisin 2004 protocol, with higher than 90% probability. This would clearly breach the security of the cryptosystem. Unfortunately in Clavis2 Eve's bright pulses have a side effect of causing high level of afterpulsing in Bob's single-photon detectors, resulting in a high quantum bit error rate that effectively protects this system from our attack. However, in a Clavis2-like system equipped with detectors with less-noisy but realistic characteristics, an attack strategy with positive leakage of the key would exist. We confirm this by a numerical simulation. Both the eavesdropping setup and strategy can be generalized to attack most of the current QKD systems, especially if they lack proper safeguards. We also propose countermeasures to prevent such attacks.
Quantum teleportation  is a quintessential prerequisite of many quantum information processing protocols [2-4]. By using quantum teleportation, one can circumvent the no-cloning theorem  and faithfully transfer unknown quantum states to a party whose location is even unknown over arbitrary distances. Ever since the first experimental demonstrations of quantum teleportation of independent qubits  and of squeezed states , researchers have progressively extended the communication distance in teleportation, usually without active feed-forward of the classical Bell-state measurement result which is an essential ingredient in future applications such as communication between quantum computers. Here we report the first long-distance quantum teleportation experiment with active feed-forward in real time. The experiment employed two optical links, quantum and classical, over 143 km free space between the two Canary Islands of La Palma and Tenerife. To achieve this, the experiment had to employ novel techniques such as a frequency-uncorrelated polarization-entangled photon pair source, ultra-low-noise single-photon detectors, and entanglement-assisted clock synchronization. The average teleported state fidelity was well beyond the classical limit of 2/3. Furthermore, we confirmed the quality of the quantum teleportation procedure (without feed-forward) by complete quantum process tomography. Our experiment confirms the maturity and applicability of the involved technologies in real-world scenarios, and is a milestone towards future satellite-based quantum teleportation.