US Air Force Starfire Optical Range Demos Quantum Communication in Daylight
(AFMC.mil) The Air Force Research Laboratory Starfire Optical Range (SOR) recently demonstrated quantum communication in daylight under conditions representative of space-to-Earth satellite links.
“This is the world’s first such demonstration, integrating quantum communication with a novel filtering technique enabled by adaptive optics (AO), a technology pioneered at the SOR,” said Dr. Kelly Hammett, director of the AFRL Directed Energy Directorate. A compact AO system was developed for this demonstration to allow quantum communication through-the-air in daylight. Free-space quantum communication in the daytime has been a challenge for the scientific community as it is often negatively impacted by background light.
“The SOR field experiment is the first in a series designed to demonstrate various quantum communication protocols,” said Dr. Mark Gruneisen, principal investigator for quantum communication research at the SOR. Follow-on demonstrations will advance other quantum communication techniques, which will be equally enabled from AO technologies.