(TechXplore) Scientists from Heriot-Watt University have secured six-figure funding from Innovate-UK on a project led by BT to develop practical quantum key distribution (QKD) transmitter and receiver modules for short range terrestrial applications.
The technology will form a central component in a world-first trial of end-to-end quantum-secured communications for 5G and connected cars.
Heriot-Watt’s work will support BT and its other project partners to harness fixed fibre and free-space networks, and quantum-enhanced security chips in mobile devices for the first time, providing an ultra-secure link between connected 5G towers and mobile devices. The ambition is to create the world’s most secure fixed-mobile communications link.
The Heriot-Watt team brings essential expertise of practical QKD by leading the design, testing, and construction of the QKD transmitter and receiver prototypes. The team will also support other project partners developing novel single-photon source and detector technologies for the commercial products.
The trial, which will run for 36 months, will see the development of a wide range of quantum-secured scenarios in which the security of data transfer is especially important.