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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 17 — Aug. 26, 2013
  • pp: 20032–20040

Experimental quasi-single-photon transmission from satellite to earth

Juan Yin, Yuan Cao, Shu-Bin Liu, Ge-Sheng Pan, Jin-Hong Wang, Tao Yang, Zhong-Ping Zhang, Fu-Min Yang, Yu-Ao Chen, Cheng-Zhi Peng, and Jian-Wei Pan  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 17, pp. 20032-20040 (2013)

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Free-space quantum communication with satellites opens a promising avenue for global secure quantum network and large-scale test of quantum foundations. Recently, numerous experimental efforts have been carried out towards this ambitious goal. However, one essential step - transmitting single photons from the satellite to the ground with high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at realistic environments - remains experimental challenging. Here, we report a direct experimental demonstration of the satellite-ground transmission of a quasi-single-photon source. In the experiment, single photons (∼0.85 photon per pulse) are generated by reflecting weak laser pulses back to earth with a cube-corner retro-reflector on the satellite CHAMP, collected by a 600-mm diameter telescope at the ground station, and finally detected by single-photon counting modules after 400-km free-space link transmission. With the help of high accuracy time synchronization, narrow receiver field-of-view and high-repetition-rate pulses (76 MHz), a SNR of better than 16:1 is obtained, which is sufficient for a secure quantum key distribution. Our experimental results represent an important step towards satellite-ground quantum communication.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(270.0270) Quantum optics : Quantum optics
(270.5565) Quantum optics : Quantum communications
(270.5585) Quantum optics : Quantum information and processing

ToC Category:
Quantum Optics

Original Manuscript: May 28, 2013
Revised Manuscript: July 19, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: August 5, 2013
Published: August 19, 2013

Juan Yin, Yuan Cao, Shu-Bin Liu, Ge-Sheng Pan, Jin-Hong Wang, Tao Yang, Zhong-Ping Zhang, Fu-Min Yang, Yu-Ao Chen, Cheng-Zhi Peng, and Jian-Wei Pan, "Experimental quasi-single-photon transmission from satellite to earth," Opt. Express 21, 20032-20040 (2013)

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