Session

Technical Session 9: Advanced Technologies III

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) missions currently in development for space are expanding in number due to the increasing need for more secure means of encryption combined with the range limitations of terrestrial QKD. Most of these new missions are using smaller satellites to test their payloads. The ROKS (Responsive Operations for Key Services) mission is one such mission. It will utilize a 6U CubeSat bus and is set to launch in Q4 2022. A breadboard model of a 785nm weak coherent pulse quantum source module designed for ROKS, named JADE, was tested within a lab testbench environment with the mission’s systems represented by breadboard models with equivalent components. JADE’s optical module was miniaturized to be compatible with the limited payload volumes of these small classes of satellites. Lab-based testbench characterization of JADE’s ability to emit quantum pulses with four polarization states that propagate through the beam steering system for analysis by a receiver box was demonstrated. Future work will focus on further shrinking the JADE module down to less than 1/3U size, increasing the interoperability of the module with standard interfaces for both CubeSats and SmallSats, and adding further capabilities and full environmental testing qualification to JADE.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 12th, 9:00 AM

Payload Testing of a Weak Coherent Pulse Quantum Key Distribution Module for the Responsive Operations on Key Services (ROKS) Mission

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) missions currently in development for space are expanding in number due to the increasing need for more secure means of encryption combined with the range limitations of terrestrial QKD. Most of these new missions are using smaller satellites to test their payloads. The ROKS (Responsive Operations for Key Services) mission is one such mission. It will utilize a 6U CubeSat bus and is set to launch in Q4 2022. A breadboard model of a 785nm weak coherent pulse quantum source module designed for ROKS, named JADE, was tested within a lab testbench environment with the mission’s systems represented by breadboard models with equivalent components. JADE’s optical module was miniaturized to be compatible with the limited payload volumes of these small classes of satellites. Lab-based testbench characterization of JADE’s ability to emit quantum pulses with four polarization states that propagate through the beam steering system for analysis by a receiver box was demonstrated. Future work will focus on further shrinking the JADE module down to less than 1/3U size, increasing the interoperability of the module with standard interfaces for both CubeSats and SmallSats, and adding further capabilities and full environmental testing qualification to JADE.