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3 June 2014 Polarization tracking for quantum satellite communications
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Abstract
Satellite networks and quantum communications offer complementary opportunities for enhanced operations. Quantum communications provide security for the transmissions between satellites and ground stations; while the free-space link of satellite networks provide the potential of long distance transmission of quantum bits (qubit) for space communications. However, with the promising advantages of the two approaches, challenges remain to fully develop quantum-based satellite communications such as robust and reliable information detection which is difficult to achieve due to the movement of satellites. In this paper, a tracking algorithm is proposed for polarization-encoded quantum satellite communications where polarization states are used to determine the bit transfer between the transmitter and receiver. The polarization tracking is essential for the decoding of a qubit and the quantum key distribution (QKD). A practical channel model for free-space quantum communications is adopted in this paper. With the estimated polarization, a novel dynamic polarization compensation scheme is also proposed. The results show that our methods can accurately estimate the polarization, providing much lower quantum bit error rate (QBER) by compensation, as compared with the direct qubit detection without polarization tracking and compensation scheme.
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Gang Wang, Dan Shen, Genshe Chen, Khanh Pham, and Erik Blasch "Polarization tracking for quantum satellite communications", Proc. SPIE 9085, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications VII, 90850T (3 June 2014); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2050031
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