Quantum key distribution is a method for sharing a classical key between two parties that is secured by the properties of quantum mechanics. In most cases, the parties are at fixed locations and use an optical fiber or free-space channel with fixed telescopes. To enable flexible and mobile quantum key distribution applications, we are developing a drone-based system. Here, the entire quantum transmitter and receiver system must have low size, weight, and power so that it can fly on medium-scale drones (Group 2, 21-55 lb gross takeoff weight).
Professor of Physics, Daniel Gauthier, will begin with an introduction to quantum key distribution and then mention some of the key technologies required to achieve secure key exchange between drones.