Quantum Internet promises next-generation ultra-secure communications, but is it actually feasible on a global scale?
After a new experiment between satellites in orbit and a station on the ground.
The team of scientists was able to exchange several carefully managed photons in infrared light pulses, which were passed between Russian GLONASS satellites and the Space Geodesy Center on the ground of the Italian Space Agency.
These Signals Should Be Leaked Around 20,000 kilometers of air and space without interference or data loss are no easy task – but there are indications that such a global network could actually work.
"Space quantum communication (QC) is promising A way to ensure unconditional safety for satellite-to-ground and satellite-to-satellite optical communications by using quantum information protocols as quantum key distribution (QKD)," says one of the researchers, Giuseppe Vallone of the University of Padua in Italy. [1
Indeed, hacking into a quantum mechanical message would cause the QKD itself to be destroyed.
So far good in theory, but these safe channels remain open for long Distances have proven to be difficult.
The key to successful data exchange was the use of passive retroreflectors mounted on the satellites to keep the high beam signals intact, thereby increasing the previous record distance for this type of quantum communication by an additional 15,000 kilometers (9,321 miles).
While satellites placed higher in orbit like orbits from the GLONASS system are more difficult to communicate with, they are routed routinely near ground stations, allowing an inextricable quantum network that can span the globe. 19659002] We're just starting on this kind of technology – not least because scientists are still trying to figure out whether it can actually work – and right now it's not clear what a quantum internet is used for and how it's being used become.
One idea is that this can become a specialized, very secure extension of the normal Internet used by a small selection of apps and devices.
What We Now Know Quantum communication between the ground and the high-orbit satellites is possible, extending the potential reach of the new technology.
This is important as the satellite networks we rely on are constantly evolving and upgrading.
"Satellite-based technologies enable a wide range of civil, scientific and military applications such as communications, navigation and timing, remote sensing, meteorology, reconnaissance, search and rescue, space exploration and astronomy," says Vallone.
"The core of these systems is the secure transmission of information and data from orbiting satellites to ground stations on Earth, so protecting these channels from a malicious enemy is critical to military and civilian operations."
The study has been published in Quantum Science and Technology .