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Continuous variable quantum key distribution (CV-QKD) is a promising emerging technology for the distribution of secure keys for symmetric encryption. It can be readily implemented using commercial off-the-shelf optical telecommunications components. A key requirement of the CV-QKD receiver is the ability to measure the quantum states at the correct time instance and rate using the correct orthogonal observables, referred to as synchronization. We propose a digital synchronization procedure for a modern CV-QKD system with locally generated local oscillator for coherent reception. Our proposed method is modulation format independent allowing it to be used in a variety of CV-QKD systems. We experimentally investigate its performance with a Gaussian modulated CV-QKD system operating over a 10-20 km span of standard single mode fibre. Since the procedure does not require hardware modifications it paves the way for cost-effective QKD solutions that can adapt rapidly to changing environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045006
JournalQuantum Science and Technology
Issue number4
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Continuous variable system
  • Digital signal processing
  • Quantum key distribution
  • Synchronization


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