Abstract

The increasing prevalence of satellite-to-ground laser communications necessitates unconditional security measures that so far can only be provided by quantum key distribution. However, in a free-space optical channel, the diffraction of laser beams along with turbulence effects can reduce the initially high secure key rates potentially provided by continuous variable quantum key distribution (CV-QKD). Using derived formulas from four-state discrete modulation CV-QKD with reverse reconciliation, we highlight parameters that yield key rates on the order of 50 Mbps, and then describe the possible factors that can cause its reduction in a free-space optical channel. Numerical beam propagation simulations are performed to supplement the analyses.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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