Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) Labs have established a Quantum Communication project for securing communications which are vital for defence and strategic agencies world over.
Sharing of keys over the air or wired links requires encryption, which in turn requires encryption keys to be pre-shared. Quantum based communication offers a robust solution to sharing the keys securely.
A milestone of this project was achieved today when DRDO developed Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology underwent trials in Hyderabad between two DRDO labs, DRDL and RCI to show secure communication. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO team for successful demonstration of QKD communication.
The technology is developed by CAIR, Bengaluru and DYSL-QT, Mumbai. Quantum Communication using the time-bin Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) scheme was performed under realistic conditions. The setup also demonstrated the validation of detection of a third party trying to gain knowledge of the communication.
Quantum based security against eavesdropping was validated for the deployed system at over 12 Km range and 10 dB attenuation over fibre optic channel.
Continuous wave laser source was used to generate photons without depolarization effect. The timing accuracy employed in the setup was of the order of picoseconds. The Single Photon Avalanche Detector (SPAD) recorded arrival of photons and key rate was achieved in the range of kbps with low Quantum bit error rate. Software was developed for data acquisition, time synchronization, post-processing, determining Quantum bit error rate and extracting other important parameters.
The work being done at DRDO will be used to enable Start-ups and SMEs in the domain of Quantum information technologies. It will also serve to define standards and crypto policies that can leverage the QKD system in a unified Cipher Policy Committee (CPC) framework for more secure and pragmatic key management for current and future military cryptographic systems.