If you were walking across campus last November and looked up into the sky, you might have caught a glimpse of uOttawa researchers sending the first quantum-secured message containing more than one bit of information per photon through the air above a city.
The demonstration by lead researcher Ebrahim Karimi and his team showed that it might one day be practical to create a highly secure link between ground-based networks and space-based satellites, a requirement for creating a global quantum encryption network.
“Our work is the first to send messages in a secure manner using high-dimensional quantum encryption in realistic city conditions, including turbulence,” said Karimi, who chose an image of the Canadian parliament as the message to encrypt and transmit. “The secure, free-space communication scheme we demonstrated could potentially link Earth with satellites, securely connect places where it is too expensive to install fiber, or be used for encrypted communication with a moving object, such as an airplane.”
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