China in Quantum Transmission

Unbreakable code from space delivered to Earth courtesy China's quantum satellite

Unbreakable code from space delivered to Earth courtesy China's quantum satellite

The country's first-ever quantum satellite has transmitted potentially unbreakable data from space to Earth for the first time.

If the satellite-based quantum key distribution from these experiments could be integrated with quantum networks in major metro areas, it could enable quantum cryptography on a global scale, Pan said in the Xinhua report.

The satellite, called Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS), is claimed to be the world's first of its kind, and was sent into a sun-synchronous orbit on August 16, 2016.

Current encryption technology relies on traditional mathematics that hackers can now solve using powerful computers. It allows a person to encrypt a message in such a way that it would never be read by anyone unrelated.

"Satellite-based quantum key distribution can be linked to metropolitan quantum networks where fibers are sufficient and convenient to connect numerous users within a city over 100 km". "The establishment of a reliable and efficient space-to-ground link for faithful quantum state transmission paves the way to global-scale quantum networks". Pan Jianwei, lead scientist of the mission told Xinhua. Within this short time period, Micius can generate and send as many as 300 kbit secure keys, enough to make a highly secure phone call or transmit a large amount of bank data.

The Chinese experiment involved sending laser signals via space satellites, which both reduces the problem of signals degrading, and which eliminates the problem of the relay point being physically compromised.

The Micius satellite beamed messages to two mountain-top receiving stations 645 km (400 miles) and 1,200 km away. By transmitting photons between the satellite and ground stations, thus resulting in high confidential quantum communication.

"Any eavesdropper on the quantum channel attempting to gain information of the key will inevitably introduce disturbance to the system, and can be detected by the communicating users", the researchers further stated.

China's Quantum satellite is one-of-a-kind, as it runs on quantum computing.

Wang Jianyu, chief commander of the satellite said.

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