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ISRO demonstrates free space quantum communication for the first time

QKD technology underpins quantum communication tech that ensures unconditional data security by virtue of principles of quantum mechanics, which is not possible with conventional encryption systems

ISRO Chief K Sivan addresses media during a press conference, in Bengaluru on Thursday.
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ISRO Chief K Sivan addresses media during a press conference, in Bengaluru.

T E Narasimhan Chennai
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently demonstrated free-space quantum communication over a distance of 300 m for the first time.

The demonstration included live videoconferencing using quantum-key-encrypted signals. This is a major achievement for unconditionally secured satellite data communication using quantum technologies.

Isro said that a number of key technologies were developed indigenously to accomplish this major feat, which included the use of an indigenously developed navigation satellite system, with an operational name of NavIC, a receiver for time synchronisation between the transmitter and receiver modules, and gimbal mechanism systems instead of bulky large-aperture telescopes for optical alignment.

The Quantum Key Distribution

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First Published: Mar 23 2021 | 12:48 PM IST

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