Experimental Satellite Quantum Communications

Giuseppe Vallone, Davide Bacco, Daniele Dequal, Simone Gaiarin, Vincenza Luceri, Giuseppe Bianco, Paolo Villoresi

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

336 Downloads (Pure)


Quantum Communications on planetary scale require complementary channels including ground and satellite links. The former have progressed up to commercial stage using fiber-cables, while for satellite links, the absence of terminals in orbit has impaired theirs development. However, the demonstration of the feasibility of such links is crucial for designing space payloads and to eventually enable the realization of protocols such as quantum-key-distribution (QKD) and quantum teleportation along satellite-to-ground or intersatellite links. We demonstrated the faithful transmission of qubits from space to ground by exploiting satellite corner cube retroreflectors acting as transmitter in orbit, obtaining a low error rate suitable for QKD. We also propose a two-way QKD protocol exploiting modulated retroreflectors that necessitates a minimal payload on satellite, thus facilitating the expansion of Space Quantum Communications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number040502
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Vallone, G., Bacco, D., Dequal, D., Gaiarin, S., Luceri, V., Bianco, G., & Villoresi, P. (2015). Experimental Satellite Quantum Communications. Physical Review Letters, 115(4), [040502]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.040502