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DRDO successfully demonstrates Quantum Communication between 2 Labs of DRDO using QKD Technology

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DRDO successfully demonstrates quantum communication between two labsOn 9th December, 2020, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully demonstrated communication between 2 labs of DRDO using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) Technology to share encryption keys.The 2 DRDO labs which participated are Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and the Research Centre Imarat (RCI).Both DRDL and RCI are based in Hyderabad.

DRDO had developed QKD technology exclusively for the Indian Armed Forces.The QKD technology was developed by CAIR (Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics), Bengaluru, and DYSL-QT (DRDO Young Scientists Laboratories-Quantum Technologies), Mumbai.

Objective:

i.To ensure secure communication in defence and strategic agencies.

ii.Quantum based communication will enable secure transfer of encryption keys, which are vital in the modern digital world.

iii.This Quantum works being executed by DRDO will be used to help start-ups and Small & Medium size Enterprises working in the domain of Quantum Information Technologies.

Key Points:

i.The security against eavesdropping was tested for the system at over 12 km range and 10 Decibel Attenuation (loss of transmission signal strength) in Fibre optical Channel.

ii.In order to generate photons without depolarisation effect, a continuous-wave laser source was used.

iii.In QKD technology, encryption keys will be sent as qubits via fibre optic cables. Qubits or Quantum bits are fundamental building blocks for Quantum Information processes, they are similar to Bits (0’s & 1’s) in classical computing.

iv.If any third party tries to read the Encryption Key Transmission, QKD technology will disturb the qubits and generate transmission errors which will immediately inform the legitimate end users.

v.The Quantum Communication was done using the Time-bin QKD scheme under realistic conditions. Time-bin encoding is used to encode qubit on a photon.

Quantum Computing:

i.Quantum computers are machines which use properties of Quantum physics such as superposition & Quantum entanglement to store data and perform computations. Qubits are basic units of a quantum computer, similar to 0s and 1s in classical computers.

ii.Qubits are made using physical systems like spin of an electron or orientation of a photon.

Quantum Computing in India:

i.In the Union Budget 2020, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications (NM-QTA) with an outlay of INR 8, 000 crores for 5 years.

ii.They will be used for applications in the field of aero-space engineering, numerical weather prediction, simulation, securing communication and financial transactions, cyber-security and advanced manufacturing.

Recent Related News:

i.On August 26, 2020, Indian Institute of Technology’s (IIT) Alumni Council signed an agreement with Russia’s Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) and Russoft to build the world’s largest and fastest hybrid quantum computer in India.

About Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR):
Director – Upendra Kumar Singh
Location – Bengaluru, Karnataka

About DRDO Young Scientists Laboratories-Quantum Technologies (DYSL-QT):
Location – Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai