Abstract

The measurement of quantum signals that travel through long distances is fundamentally and technologically interesting. We present quantum-limited coherent measurements of optical signals that are sent from a satellite in geostationary Earth orbit to an optical ground station. We bound the excess noise that the quantum states could have acquired after having propagated 38,600 km through Earth’s gravitational potential, as well as its turbulent atmosphere. Our results indicate that quantum communication is feasible, in principle, in such a scenario, highlighting the possibility of a global quantum key distribution network for secure communication.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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2016 (8)

M. T. Gruneisen, B. A. Sickmiller, M. B. Flanagan, J. P. Black, K. E. Stoltenberg, and A. W. Duchane, “Adaptive spatial filtering of daytime sky noise in a satellite quantum key distribution downlink receiver,” Opt. Eng. 55, 026104 (2016).
[Crossref]

Z. Tang, R. Chandrasekara, Y. C. Tan, C. Cheng, L. Sha, G. C. Hiang, D. K. L. Oi, and A. Ling, “Generation and analysis of correlated pairs of photons aboard a nanosatellite,” Phys. Rev. Appl. 5, 054022 (2016).
[Crossref]

D. Dequal, G. Vallone, D. Bacco, S. Gaiarin, V. Luceri, G. Bianco, and P. Villoresi, “Experimental single-photon exchange along a space link of 7000  km,” Phys. Rev. A 93, 010301 (2016).
[Crossref]

E. Gibney, “Chinese satellite is one giant step for the quantum internet,” Nature 535, 478–479 (2016).
[Crossref]

K. Saucke, C. Seiter, F. Heine, M. Gregory, D. Tröndle, E. Fischer, T. Berkefeld, M. Feriencik, M. Feriencik, I. Richter, and R. Meyer, “The Tesat transportable adaptive optical ground station,” Proc. SPIE 9739, 973906 (2016).
[Crossref]

D. Vasylyev, A. A. Semenov, and W. Vogel, “Atmospheric quantum channels with weak and strong turbulence,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 090501 (2016).
[Crossref]

H. Endo, M. Fujiwara, M. Kitamura, T. Ito, M. Toyoshima, Y. Takayama, H. Takenaka, R. Shimizu, N. Laurenti, G. Vallone, P. Villoresi, T. Aoki, and M. Sasaki, “Free-space optical channel estimation for physical layer security,” Opt. Express 24, 8940–8955 (2016).
[Crossref]

A. Carrasco-Casado, H. Kunimori, H. Takenaka, T. Kubo-Oka, M. Akioka, T. Fuse, Y. Koyama, D. Kolev, Y. Munemasa, and M. Toyoshima, “LEO-to-ground polarization measurements aiming for space QKD using small optical transponder (SOTA),” Opt. Express 24, 12254–12266 (2016).
[Crossref]

2015 (5)

B. Korzh, C. C. W. Lim, R. Houlmann, N. Gisin, M. J. Li, D. Nolan, B. Sanguinetti, R. Thew, and H. Zbinden, “Provably secure and practical quantum key distribution over 307  km of optical fibre,” Nat. Photonics 9, 163–168 (2015).
[Crossref]

J.-P. Bourgoin, N. Gigov, B. L. Higgins, Z. Yan, E. Meyer-Scott, A. K. Khandani, N. Lütkenhaus, and T. Jennewein, “Experimental quantum key distribution with simulated ground-to-satellite photon losses and processing limitations,” Phys. Rev. A 92, 052339 (2015).
[Crossref]

F. Heine, G. Mühlnikel, H. Zech, D. Tröndle, S. Seel, M. Motzigemba, R. Meyer, S. Philipp-May, and E. Benzi, “LCT for the European data relay system: in orbit commissioning of the Alphasat and Sentinel 1A LCTs,” Proc. SPIE 9354, 93540G (2015).
[Crossref]

H. Zech, F. Heine, D. Tröndle, S. Seel, M. Motzigemba, R. Meyer, and S. Philipp-May, “LCT for EDRS: LEO to GEO optical communications at 1, 8 Gbps between Alphasat and Sentinel 1a,” Proc. SPIE 9647, 96470J (2015).
[Crossref]

A. Aspect, “Viewpoint: closing the door on Einstein and Bohr’s quantum debate,” Physics 8, 123 (2015).
[Crossref]

2014 (7)

T. C. Ralph and J. Pienaar, “Entanglement decoherence in a gravitational well according to the event formalism,” New J. Phys. 16, 085008 (2014).
[Crossref]

D. E. Bruschi, T. C. Ralph, I. Fuentes, T. Jennewein, and M. Razavi, “Spacetime effects on satellite-based quantum communications,” Phys. Rev. D 90, 045041 (2014).
[Crossref]

C. Peuntinger, B. Heim, C. R. Müller, C. Gabriel, C. Marquardt, and G. Leuchs, “Distribution of squeezed states through an atmospheric channel,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 060502 (2014).
[Crossref]

B. Heim, C. Peuntinger, N. Killoran, I. Khan, C. Wittmann, C. Marquardt, and G. Leuchs, “Atmospheric continuous-variable quantum communication,” New J. Phys. 16, 113018 (2014).
[Crossref]

D. M. Boroson, B. S. Robinson, D. V. Murphy, D. A. Burianek, F. Khatri, J. M. Kovalik, Z. Sodnik, and D. M. Cornwell, “Overview and results of the lunar laser communication demonstration,” Proc. SPIE 8971, 89710S (2014).
[Crossref]

J.-W. Pan, “Quantum science satellite,” Chin. J. Space Sci. 34, 547–549 (2014).

H. Shibata, T. Honjo, and K. Shimizu, “Quantum key distribution over a 72  dB channel loss using ultralow dark count superconducting single-photon detectors,” Opt. Lett. 39, 5078–5081 (2014).
[Crossref]

2013 (5)

P. Jouguet, S. Kunz-Jacques, A. Leverrier, P. Grangier, and E. Diamanti, “Experimental demonstration of long-distance continuous-variable quantum key distribution,” Nat. Photonics 7, 378–381 (2013).
[Crossref]

N. Walk, T. C. Ralph, T. Symul, and P. K. Lam, “Security of continuous-variable quantum cryptography with Gaussian post selection,” Phys. Rev. A 87, 020303 (2013).
[Crossref]

T. Scheidl, E. Wille, and R. Ursin, “Quantum optics experiments using the International Space Station: a proposal,” New J. Phys. 15, 043008 (2013).
[Crossref]

T. Jennewein and B. Higgins, “The quantum space race,” Phys. World 26, 52–56 (2013).
[Crossref]

L. Bacsardi, “On the way to quantum-based satellite communication,” IEEE Commun. Mag. 51(8), 50–55 (2013).
[Crossref]

2012 (3)

Z. Merali, “Data teleportation: the quantum space race,” Nature 492, 22–25 (2012).
[Crossref]

D. Rideout, T. Jennewein, G. Amelino-Camelia, T. F. Demarie, B. L. Higgins, A. Kempf, A. Kent, R. Laflamme, X. Ma, R. B. Mann, E. Martn-Martnez, N. C. Menicucci, J. Moffat, C. Simon, R. Sorkin, L. Smolin, and D. R. Terno, “Fundamental quantum optics experiments conceivable with satellites––reaching relativistic distances and velocities,” Classical Quantum Gravity 29, 224011 (2012).
[Crossref]

N. Killoran, M. Hosseini, B. C. Buchler, P. K. Lam, and N. Lütkenhaus, “Quantum benchmarking with realistic states of light,” Phys. Rev. A 86, 022331 (2012).
[Crossref]

2009 (4)

D. Elser, T. Bartley, B. Heim, C. Wittmann, D. Sych, and G. Leuchs, “Feasibility of free space quantum key distribution with coherent polarization states,” New J. Phys. 11, 045014 (2009).
[Crossref]

B. Smutny, H. Kaempfner, G. Muehlnikel, U. Sterr, B. Wandernoth, F. Heine, U. Hildebrand, D. Dallmann, M. Reinhardt, A. Freier, R. Lange, K. Boehmer, T. Feldhaus, J. Mueller, A. Weichert, P. Greulich, S. Seel, R. Meyer, and R. Czichy, “5.6 Gbps optical intersatellite communication link,” Proc. SPIE 7199, 719906 (2009).
[Crossref]

R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
[Crossref]

V. Scarani, H. Bechmann-Pasquinucci, N. J. Cerf, M. Dušek, N. Lütkenhaus, and M. Peev, “The security of practical quantum key distribution,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 1301–1350 (2009).
[Crossref]

2007 (2)

T. Schmitt-Manderbach, H. Weier, M. Fürst, R. Ursin, F. Tiefenbacher, T. Scheidl, J. Perdigues, Z. Sodnik, C. Kurtsiefer, J. G. Rarity, A. Zeilinger, and H. Weinfurter, “Experimental demonstration of free-space decoy-state quantum key distribution over 144  km,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 010504 (2007).
[Crossref]

R. Ursin, F. Tiefenbacher, T. Schmitt-Manderbach, H. Weier, T. Scheidl, M. Lindenthal, B. Blauensteiner, T. Jennewein, J. Perdigues, P. Trojek, B. Omer, M. Furst, M. Meyenburg, J. Rarity, Z. Sodnik, C. Barbieri, H. Weinfurter, and A. Zeilinger, “Entanglement-based quantum communication over 144 km,” Nat. Phys. 3, 481–486 (2007).
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2006 (2)

S. Lorenz, J. Rigas, M. Heid, U. L. Andersen, N. Lütkenhaus, and G. Leuchs, “Witnessing effective entanglement in a continuous variable prepare-and-measure setup and application to a quantum key distribution scheme using post selection,” Phys. Rev. A 74, 042326 (2006).
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R. Plaga, “A fundamental threat to quantum cryptography: gravitational attacks,” Eur. Phys. J. D 38, 409–413 (2006).
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2005 (3)

X.-B. Wang, “Beating the photon-number-splitting attack in practical quantum cryptography,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 230503 (2005).
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X. Ma, B. Qi, Y. Zhao, and H.-K. Lo, “Practical decoy state for quantum key distribution,” Phys. Rev. A 72, 012326 (2005).
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H.-K. Lo, X. Ma, and K. Chen, “Decoy state quantum key distribution,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 230504 (2005).
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2004 (1)

S. Lorenz, N. Korolkova, and G. Leuchs, “Continuous-variable quantum key distribution using polarization encoding and post selection,” Appl. Phys. B 79, 273–277 (2004).
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2003 (1)

W.-Y. Hwang, “Quantum key distribution with high loss: toward global secure communication,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 057901 (2003).
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2002 (4)

K. Inoue, E. Waks, and Y. Yamamoto, “Differential phase shift quantum key distribution,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 037902 (2002).
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C. Silberhorn, T. C. Ralph, N. Lütkenhaus, and G. Leuchs, “Continuous variable quantum cryptography: beating the 3  dB loss limit,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 167901 (2002).
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R. J. Hughes, J. E. Nordholt, D. Derkacs, and C. G. Peterson, “Practical free-space quantum key distribution over 10  km in daylight and at night,” New J. Phys. 4, 43 (2002).
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J. G. Rarity, P. R. Tapster, P. M. Gorman, and P. Knight, “Ground to satellite secure key exchange using quantum cryptography,” New J. Phys. 4, 82 (2002).
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2000 (2)

J.-W. Pan, D. Bouwmeester, M. Daniell, H. Weinfurter, and A. Zeilinger, “Experimental test of quantum nonlocality in three-photon Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger entanglement,” Nature 403, 515–519 (2000).
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W. T. Buttler, R. J. Hughes, S. K. Lamoreaux, G. L. Morgan, J. E. Nordholt, and C. G. Peterson, “Daylight quantum key distribution over 1.6  km,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 5652–5655 (2000).
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1999 (1)

T. C. Ralph, “Continuous variable quantum cryptography,” Phys. Rev. A 61, 010303 (1999).
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1998 (1)

W. T. Buttler, R. J. Hughes, P. G. Kwiat, G. G. Luther, G. L. Morgan, J. E. Nordholt, C. G. Peterson, and C. M. Simmons, “Free-space quantum-key distribution,” Phys. Rev. A 57, 2379–2382 (1998).
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1995 (1)

Y. Arimoto, M. Toyoshima, M. Toyoda, T. Takahashi, M. Shikatani, and K. Araki, “Preliminary result on laser communication experiment using (ETS-VI),” Proc. SPIE 2381, 151 (1995).
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1992 (1)

C. H. Bennett, “Quantum cryptography using any two nonorthogonal states,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 3121–3124 (1992).
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1963 (1)

R. J. Glauber, “Coherent and incoherent states of the radiation field,” Phys. Rev. 131, 2766–2788 (1963).
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1927 (1)

W. Heisenberg, “Über den anschaulichen Inhalt der quantentheoretischen Kinematik und Mechanik,” Z. Phys. 43, 172–198 (1927).
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Acin, A.

R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
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Akioka, M.

A. Carrasco-Casado, H. Kunimori, H. Takenaka, T. Kubo-Oka, M. Akioka, T. Fuse, Y. Koyama, D. Kolev, Y. Munemasa, and M. Toyoshima, “LEO-to-ground polarization measurements aiming for space QKD using small optical transponder (SOTA),” Opt. Express 24, 12254–12266 (2016).
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M. Toyoshima, T. Fuse, D. R. Kolev, H. Takenaka, Y. Munemasa, N. Iwakiri, K. Suzuki, Y. Koyama, T. Kubooka, M. Akioka, and H. Kunimori, “Current status of research and development on space laser communications technologies and future plans in NICT,” in International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications (ICSOS) (IEEE, 2015).

Amelino-Camelia, G.

D. Rideout, T. Jennewein, G. Amelino-Camelia, T. F. Demarie, B. L. Higgins, A. Kempf, A. Kent, R. Laflamme, X. Ma, R. B. Mann, E. Martn-Martnez, N. C. Menicucci, J. Moffat, C. Simon, R. Sorkin, L. Smolin, and D. R. Terno, “Fundamental quantum optics experiments conceivable with satellites––reaching relativistic distances and velocities,” Classical Quantum Gravity 29, 224011 (2012).
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Andersen, U. L.

S. Lorenz, J. Rigas, M. Heid, U. L. Andersen, N. Lütkenhaus, and G. Leuchs, “Witnessing effective entanglement in a continuous variable prepare-and-measure setup and application to a quantum key distribution scheme using post selection,” Phys. Rev. A 74, 042326 (2006).
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Aoki, T.

Araki, K.

Y. Arimoto, M. Toyoshima, M. Toyoda, T. Takahashi, M. Shikatani, and K. Araki, “Preliminary result on laser communication experiment using (ETS-VI),” Proc. SPIE 2381, 151 (1995).
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Arimoto, Y.

Y. Arimoto, M. Toyoshima, M. Toyoda, T. Takahashi, M. Shikatani, and K. Araki, “Preliminary result on laser communication experiment using (ETS-VI),” Proc. SPIE 2381, 151 (1995).
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Aspect, A.

A. Aspect, “Viewpoint: closing the door on Einstein and Bohr’s quantum debate,” Physics 8, 123 (2015).
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R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
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Bacco, D.

D. Dequal, G. Vallone, D. Bacco, S. Gaiarin, V. Luceri, G. Bianco, and P. Villoresi, “Experimental single-photon exchange along a space link of 7000  km,” Phys. Rev. A 93, 010301 (2016).
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Bacsardi, L.

L. Bacsardi, “On the way to quantum-based satellite communication,” IEEE Commun. Mag. 51(8), 50–55 (2013).
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Barbieri, C.

R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
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R. Ursin, F. Tiefenbacher, T. Schmitt-Manderbach, H. Weier, T. Scheidl, M. Lindenthal, B. Blauensteiner, T. Jennewein, J. Perdigues, P. Trojek, B. Omer, M. Furst, M. Meyenburg, J. Rarity, Z. Sodnik, C. Barbieri, H. Weinfurter, and A. Zeilinger, “Entanglement-based quantum communication over 144 km,” Nat. Phys. 3, 481–486 (2007).
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Bartley, T.

D. Elser, T. Bartley, B. Heim, C. Wittmann, D. Sych, and G. Leuchs, “Feasibility of free space quantum key distribution with coherent polarization states,” New J. Phys. 11, 045014 (2009).
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Bechmann-Pasquinucci, H.

V. Scarani, H. Bechmann-Pasquinucci, N. J. Cerf, M. Dušek, N. Lütkenhaus, and M. Peev, “The security of practical quantum key distribution,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 1301–1350 (2009).
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Bennett, C. H.

C. H. Bennett, “Quantum cryptography using any two nonorthogonal states,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 3121–3124 (1992).
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Benzi, E.

F. Heine, G. Mühlnikel, H. Zech, D. Tröndle, S. Seel, M. Motzigemba, R. Meyer, S. Philipp-May, and E. Benzi, “LCT for the European data relay system: in orbit commissioning of the Alphasat and Sentinel 1A LCTs,” Proc. SPIE 9354, 93540G (2015).
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Berkefeld, T.

K. Saucke, C. Seiter, F. Heine, M. Gregory, D. Tröndle, E. Fischer, T. Berkefeld, M. Feriencik, M. Feriencik, I. Richter, and R. Meyer, “The Tesat transportable adaptive optical ground station,” Proc. SPIE 9739, 973906 (2016).
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E. Fischer, T. Berkefeld, M. Feriencik, M. Feriencik, V. Kaltenbach, D. Soltau, B. Wandernoth, R. Czichy, and J. Kunde, “Development, integration and test of a transportable adaptive optical ground station,” in International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications (ICSOS) (IEEE, 2015).

Bernstein, H.

T. Graham, C. Zeitler, J. Chapman, P. Kwiat, H. Javadi, and H. Bernstein, “Superdense teleportation and quantum key distribution for space applications,” in International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications (ICSOS) (IEEE, 2015).

Bianco, G.

D. Dequal, G. Vallone, D. Bacco, S. Gaiarin, V. Luceri, G. Bianco, and P. Villoresi, “Experimental single-photon exchange along a space link of 7000  km,” Phys. Rev. A 93, 010301 (2016).
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R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
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Biever, C.

C. Biever, “China’s quantum space pioneer: we need to explore the unknown,” Nature (2016), 10.1038/nature.2016.19166.
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Black, J. P.

M. T. Gruneisen, B. A. Sickmiller, M. B. Flanagan, J. P. Black, K. E. Stoltenberg, and A. W. Duchane, “Adaptive spatial filtering of daytime sky noise in a satellite quantum key distribution downlink receiver,” Opt. Eng. 55, 026104 (2016).
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Blauensteiner, B.

R. Ursin, F. Tiefenbacher, T. Schmitt-Manderbach, H. Weier, T. Scheidl, M. Lindenthal, B. Blauensteiner, T. Jennewein, J. Perdigues, P. Trojek, B. Omer, M. Furst, M. Meyenburg, J. Rarity, Z. Sodnik, C. Barbieri, H. Weinfurter, and A. Zeilinger, “Entanglement-based quantum communication over 144 km,” Nat. Phys. 3, 481–486 (2007).
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Boehmer, K.

B. Smutny, H. Kaempfner, G. Muehlnikel, U. Sterr, B. Wandernoth, F. Heine, U. Hildebrand, D. Dallmann, M. Reinhardt, A. Freier, R. Lange, K. Boehmer, T. Feldhaus, J. Mueller, A. Weichert, P. Greulich, S. Seel, R. Meyer, and R. Czichy, “5.6 Gbps optical intersatellite communication link,” Proc. SPIE 7199, 719906 (2009).
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Boroson, D. M.

D. M. Boroson, B. S. Robinson, D. V. Murphy, D. A. Burianek, F. Khatri, J. M. Kovalik, Z. Sodnik, and D. M. Cornwell, “Overview and results of the lunar laser communication demonstration,” Proc. SPIE 8971, 89710S (2014).
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Bourgoin, J.-P.

J.-P. Bourgoin, N. Gigov, B. L. Higgins, Z. Yan, E. Meyer-Scott, A. K. Khandani, N. Lütkenhaus, and T. Jennewein, “Experimental quantum key distribution with simulated ground-to-satellite photon losses and processing limitations,” Phys. Rev. A 92, 052339 (2015).
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Bouwmeester, D.

J.-W. Pan, D. Bouwmeester, M. Daniell, H. Weinfurter, and A. Zeilinger, “Experimental test of quantum nonlocality in three-photon Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger entanglement,” Nature 403, 515–519 (2000).
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Brukner, C.

R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
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Bruschi, D. E.

D. E. Bruschi, T. C. Ralph, I. Fuentes, T. Jennewein, and M. Razavi, “Spacetime effects on satellite-based quantum communications,” Phys. Rev. D 90, 045041 (2014).
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Buchler, B. C.

N. Killoran, M. Hosseini, B. C. Buchler, P. K. Lam, and N. Lütkenhaus, “Quantum benchmarking with realistic states of light,” Phys. Rev. A 86, 022331 (2012).
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Burianek, D. A.

D. M. Boroson, B. S. Robinson, D. V. Murphy, D. A. Burianek, F. Khatri, J. M. Kovalik, Z. Sodnik, and D. M. Cornwell, “Overview and results of the lunar laser communication demonstration,” Proc. SPIE 8971, 89710S (2014).
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Buttler, W. T.

W. T. Buttler, R. J. Hughes, S. K. Lamoreaux, G. L. Morgan, J. E. Nordholt, and C. G. Peterson, “Daylight quantum key distribution over 1.6  km,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 5652–5655 (2000).
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W. T. Buttler, R. J. Hughes, P. G. Kwiat, G. G. Luther, G. L. Morgan, J. E. Nordholt, C. G. Peterson, and C. M. Simmons, “Free-space quantum-key distribution,” Phys. Rev. A 57, 2379–2382 (1998).
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R. J. Hughes, W. T. Buttler, P. G. Kwiat, S. K. Lamoreuax, G. L. Morgan, J. E. Nordholt, and C. G. Peterson, “Quantum cryptography for secure satellite communications,” in IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings (2000), Vol. 1, pp. 191–200.

Cacciapuoti, L.

R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
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Campo, R.

D. Elser, S. Seel, F. Heine, T. Länger, M. Peev, D. Finocchiaro, R. Campo, A. Rechhia, A. Le Pera, T. Scheidl, R. Ursin, and Z. Sodnik, “Network architectures for space-optical quantum cryptography services,” in International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications (ICSOS) (IEEE, 2012).

Capmany, J.

R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
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Carrasco-Casado, A.

Cerf, N. J.

V. Scarani, H. Bechmann-Pasquinucci, N. J. Cerf, M. Dušek, N. Lütkenhaus, and M. Peev, “The security of practical quantum key distribution,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 1301–1350 (2009).
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Chandrasekara, R.

Z. Tang, R. Chandrasekara, Y. C. Tan, C. Cheng, L. Sha, G. C. Hiang, D. K. L. Oi, and A. Ling, “Generation and analysis of correlated pairs of photons aboard a nanosatellite,” Phys. Rev. Appl. 5, 054022 (2016).
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Chapman, J.

T. Graham, C. Zeitler, J. Chapman, P. Kwiat, H. Javadi, and H. Bernstein, “Superdense teleportation and quantum key distribution for space applications,” in International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications (ICSOS) (IEEE, 2015).

Chen, K.

H.-K. Lo, X. Ma, and K. Chen, “Decoy state quantum key distribution,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 230504 (2005).
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Cheng, C.

Z. Tang, R. Chandrasekara, Y. C. Tan, C. Cheng, L. Sha, G. C. Hiang, D. K. L. Oi, and A. Ling, “Generation and analysis of correlated pairs of photons aboard a nanosatellite,” Phys. Rev. Appl. 5, 054022 (2016).
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Cornwell, D. M.

D. M. Boroson, B. S. Robinson, D. V. Murphy, D. A. Burianek, F. Khatri, J. M. Kovalik, Z. Sodnik, and D. M. Cornwell, “Overview and results of the lunar laser communication demonstration,” Proc. SPIE 8971, 89710S (2014).
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Cova, S.

R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
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Czichy, R.

B. Smutny, H. Kaempfner, G. Muehlnikel, U. Sterr, B. Wandernoth, F. Heine, U. Hildebrand, D. Dallmann, M. Reinhardt, A. Freier, R. Lange, K. Boehmer, T. Feldhaus, J. Mueller, A. Weichert, P. Greulich, S. Seel, R. Meyer, and R. Czichy, “5.6 Gbps optical intersatellite communication link,” Proc. SPIE 7199, 719906 (2009).
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E. Fischer, T. Berkefeld, M. Feriencik, M. Feriencik, V. Kaltenbach, D. Soltau, B. Wandernoth, R. Czichy, and J. Kunde, “Development, integration and test of a transportable adaptive optical ground station,” in International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications (ICSOS) (IEEE, 2015).

Dallmann, D.

B. Smutny, H. Kaempfner, G. Muehlnikel, U. Sterr, B. Wandernoth, F. Heine, U. Hildebrand, D. Dallmann, M. Reinhardt, A. Freier, R. Lange, K. Boehmer, T. Feldhaus, J. Mueller, A. Weichert, P. Greulich, S. Seel, R. Meyer, and R. Czichy, “5.6 Gbps optical intersatellite communication link,” Proc. SPIE 7199, 719906 (2009).
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Daniell, M.

J.-W. Pan, D. Bouwmeester, M. Daniell, H. Weinfurter, and A. Zeilinger, “Experimental test of quantum nonlocality in three-photon Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger entanglement,” Nature 403, 515–519 (2000).
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de Matos, C. J.

R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
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Demarie, T. F.

D. Rideout, T. Jennewein, G. Amelino-Camelia, T. F. Demarie, B. L. Higgins, A. Kempf, A. Kent, R. Laflamme, X. Ma, R. B. Mann, E. Martn-Martnez, N. C. Menicucci, J. Moffat, C. Simon, R. Sorkin, L. Smolin, and D. R. Terno, “Fundamental quantum optics experiments conceivable with satellites––reaching relativistic distances and velocities,” Classical Quantum Gravity 29, 224011 (2012).
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Dequal, D.

D. Dequal, G. Vallone, D. Bacco, S. Gaiarin, V. Luceri, G. Bianco, and P. Villoresi, “Experimental single-photon exchange along a space link of 7000  km,” Phys. Rev. A 93, 010301 (2016).
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Derkacs, D.

R. J. Hughes, J. E. Nordholt, D. Derkacs, and C. G. Peterson, “Practical free-space quantum key distribution over 10  km in daylight and at night,” New J. Phys. 4, 43 (2002).
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Diamanti, E.

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W. T. Buttler, R. J. Hughes, P. G. Kwiat, G. G. Luther, G. L. Morgan, J. E. Nordholt, C. G. Peterson, and C. M. Simmons, “Free-space quantum-key distribution,” Phys. Rev. A 57, 2379–2382 (1998).
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J.-P. Bourgoin, N. Gigov, B. L. Higgins, Z. Yan, E. Meyer-Scott, A. K. Khandani, N. Lütkenhaus, and T. Jennewein, “Experimental quantum key distribution with simulated ground-to-satellite photon losses and processing limitations,” Phys. Rev. A 92, 052339 (2015).
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D. Rideout, T. Jennewein, G. Amelino-Camelia, T. F. Demarie, B. L. Higgins, A. Kempf, A. Kent, R. Laflamme, X. Ma, R. B. Mann, E. Martn-Martnez, N. C. Menicucci, J. Moffat, C. Simon, R. Sorkin, L. Smolin, and D. R. Terno, “Fundamental quantum optics experiments conceivable with satellites––reaching relativistic distances and velocities,” Classical Quantum Gravity 29, 224011 (2012).
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B. Smutny, H. Kaempfner, G. Muehlnikel, U. Sterr, B. Wandernoth, F. Heine, U. Hildebrand, D. Dallmann, M. Reinhardt, A. Freier, R. Lange, K. Boehmer, T. Feldhaus, J. Mueller, A. Weichert, P. Greulich, S. Seel, R. Meyer, and R. Czichy, “5.6 Gbps optical intersatellite communication link,” Proc. SPIE 7199, 719906 (2009).
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K. Saucke, C. Seiter, F. Heine, M. Gregory, D. Tröndle, E. Fischer, T. Berkefeld, M. Feriencik, M. Feriencik, I. Richter, and R. Meyer, “The Tesat transportable adaptive optical ground station,” Proc. SPIE 9739, 973906 (2016).
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H. Zech, F. Heine, D. Tröndle, S. Seel, M. Motzigemba, R. Meyer, and S. Philipp-May, “LCT for EDRS: LEO to GEO optical communications at 1, 8 Gbps between Alphasat and Sentinel 1a,” Proc. SPIE 9647, 96470J (2015).
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T. Schmitt-Manderbach, H. Weier, M. Fürst, R. Ursin, F. Tiefenbacher, T. Scheidl, J. Perdigues, Z. Sodnik, C. Kurtsiefer, J. G. Rarity, A. Zeilinger, and H. Weinfurter, “Experimental demonstration of free-space decoy-state quantum key distribution over 144  km,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 010504 (2007).
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D. Elser, S. Seel, F. Heine, T. Länger, M. Peev, D. Finocchiaro, R. Campo, A. Rechhia, A. Le Pera, T. Scheidl, R. Ursin, and Z. Sodnik, “Network architectures for space-optical quantum cryptography services,” in International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications (ICSOS) (IEEE, 2012).

Valencia, A.

R. Ursin, T. Jennewein, J. Kofler, J. M. Perdigues, L. Cacciapuoti, C. J. de Matos, M. Aspelmeyer, A. Valencia, T. Scheidl, A. Acin, C. Barbieri, G. Bianco, C. Brukner, J. Capmany, S. Cova, D. Giggenbach, W. Leeb, R. H. Hadfield, R. Laflamme, N. Lütkenhaus, G. Milburn, M. Peev, T. Ralph, J. Rarity, R. Renner, E. Samain, N. Solomos, W. Tittel, J. P. Torres, M. Toyoshima, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, V. Pruneri, P. Villoresi, I. Walmsley, G. Weihs, H. Weinfurter, M. Zukowski, and A. Zeilinger, “Space-quest, experiments with quantum entanglement in space,” Europhys. News 40, 26–29 (2009).
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Supplementary Material (1)

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Laser signals from geostationary Earth orbit travel through a large part of Earth’s gravitational potential, as well as through turbulent atmosphere. The successful characterization of quantum features under such conditions is a precondition for the implementation of a global quantum communication network using satellites. Metropolitan area quantum networks on the ground would then be provided with the currently missing links to each other. (Picture of the Earth: Google; picture of the satellite: ESA.)

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Space-to-ground link setup. A LCT on the Alphasat I-XL spacecraft in GEO links in continuous-wave (cw) mode to the TAOGS) [45], currently located at the Teide Observatory in Tenerife, Spain. The TAOGS is equipped with a quantum signal acquisition system based on the homodyne principle, where a weak quantum signal interferes with a local oscillator reference beam. By mode-matching the local oscillator to the signal, stray light is filtered out such that daylight causes no operational constraints. (Picture of Alphasat: ESA.)

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Experimental results for excess noise variance in units of quantum uncertainty of the vacuum state (shot noise unit snu). Data is shown for different detected signal amplitudes, | α | (the mean amplitude is 0.86). In the upper row, three exemplary histograms ( | α | = 0.63 , 0.92 , 1.24 ) illustrate the observed quadrature distribution along the X quadrature. Each of the histograms contains about 70,000 data points.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Satellite in geostationary Earth orbit produces two phase-encoded thermal states. Due to the high channel attenuation, the thermal states converge to coherent quantum states on their way down to Earth. Therefore, a receiver at an altitude of 1000 km above ground would detect nearly quantum uncertainty limited signals. At the same position, we can image a virtual aperture transmitting quantum uncertainty limited states. Using this model, we can estimate an upper bound for atmospheric influence of 0.8 ± 2.4 above the quantum uncertainty of the vacuum state (see Supplement 1). (Picture of the satellite: ESA.)

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