Abstract

In this paper, a vector Monte Carlo (MC) method is proposed to study the influence of atmospheric scattering on polarization qubits for satellite-based quantum communication. The vector MC method utilizes a transmittance method to solve the photon free path for an inhomogeneous atmosphere and random number sampling to determine whether the type of scattering is aerosol scattering or molecule scattering. Simulations are performed for downlink and uplink. The degrees and the rotations of polarization are qualitatively and quantitatively obtained, which agree well with the measured results in the previous experiments. The results show that polarization qubits are well preserved in the downlink and uplink, while the number of received single photons is less than half of the total transmitted single photons for both links. Moreover, our vector MC method can be applied for the scattering of polarized light in other inhomogeneous random media.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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