In the age of quantum computers and high-performance computing, it cannot be guaranteed that common asymmetric encryption methods will provide sufficient protection in the future. Quantum communication, on the other hand, promises a key transmission (QKD) that, due to its physical properties, offers the security that the key exchange cannot be eavesdropped and that any eavesdropping attempt will be noticed. For industrial applications this requires scalable solutions that reliably transmit stable quantum states through optical fibers. A challenge lies in linking the various devices, such as quantum light sources and detectors, as well as in the interaction with classical hardware.
Goal of the Q‑Fiber project is to demonstrate quantum communication in a network with four communication participants, exemplified in the medical sector. Health data are encrypted and exchanged between network participants using entangled photon-pairs. For the transmission and cost-effective detection of photons within the existing IT infrastructure new types of fiber optic cables are to be researched and used. These cables contain so-called hollow-core fibers which enable the simultaneous transmission of classical communication signals and entangled photons. In addition, within the project existing hardware security modules are extended with suitable interfaces and security analyses of the overall system are executed.
• Quantum Optics Jena GmbH, Jena
• Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Optik und Feinmechanik (IOF), Jena
• Ultimaco IS GmbH, Aachen
• Technische Universität (TU), Berlin
• Hochschule Nordhausen, Nordhausen