Practical free-space quantum cryptography

R. J. Hughes, W. T. Buttler, P. G. Kwiat, S. K. Lamoreaux, G. G. Luther, G. L. Morgan, J. E. Nordholt, C. G. Peterson, C. M. Simmons

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


An experimental free-space quantum key distribution (QKD) system has been tested over an outdoor optical path of ∼ 1 km under nighttime conditions at Los Alamos National Laboratory. This system employs the Bennett 92 protocol; here we give a brief overview of this protocol, and describe our experimental implementation of it. An analysis of the system efficiency is presented, as well as a description of our error detection protocol, which employs a two-dimensional parity check scheme. Finally, the susceptibility of this system to eavesdropping by various techniques is determined, and the effectiveness of privacy amplification procedures is discussed. Our conclusions are that free-space QKD is both effective and secure; possible applications include the rekeying of satellites in low earth orbit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationQuantum Computing and Quantum Communications - 1st NASA International Conference, QCQC 1998, Selected Papers
EditorsColin P. Williams
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)354065514X, 9783540655145
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
Event1st NASA International Conference on Quantum Computing and Quantum Communications, QCQC 1998 - Palm Springs, United States
Duration: Feb 17 1998Feb 20 1998

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other1st NASA International Conference on Quantum Computing and Quantum Communications, QCQC 1998
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPalm Springs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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