Researchers have come up with a secure protocol for communication between satellites and systems in space. It is known as the Quantum-Secure Time Transfer (QSTT) from the University of Science and Technology of China. The base of this protocol is a quantum distribution key for securing communications for different systems. A presentation in the publication of Nature Physics demonstrates this protocol.
Feihu Xu, a researcher of the protocol, says that their goal is to secure the time transfer between devices in communication. He states that they aim to resolve security problems in time-frequency communication.
Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a method that encrypts communication by applying quantum mechanics laws. The protocols of QKD enhance security by identifying attackers who are intercepting communications. Its base is quantum physics, thereby improving the transfer of information between various devices.
Xu and other researchers can use quantum principles to secure data. They use photons to conduct their study. In this study, photons transfer data from a device or place to another. The exploits of this research prove the possibility of moving the data attaching security features.
Xu reiterates that their use of non-cloning theorem is vital for the security of the information. The researchers say that any intervention of photon results in a disturbance of the quantum state. Xu adds that the theorem enables them to track intercepts and therefore attain a secure transfer system.
The test of the QSTT protocol on the Micius quantum satellite is proof of its validity. This satellite is the first to prove the security of quantum communications. The satellite’s launch in August 2016 opens a new ground of test for this protocol.
Xu explains that a quantum bit error below one percent is a result of the protocol’s performance. He says that after analysis of the signal of a single photon from the satellite-to-ground time has over 25 ps of precision.
The research of the team is a demonstration that QSTT protocol is the most secure communication method. A comparison of the precision of this protocol with T2L2 is almost the same. It means that the process is worth a try.
The new protocol by Xu and his colleagues is a revolution from the previous interceptable methods. The method authenticates the security of the communication between various devices in space and on earth. The high precision of the process opens up opportunities for its venture in the coming years.
Finally, Xu retorts that their paper divulges new information for physicians to explore. He hopes that scientists will venture quantum physics and advance the feasibility of their method. He further says that they are in the process to upscale their research to the satellite-based network. They hope this move allows them to conduct more research on the security of the method.