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Novel protocol for Quantum Key Distribution

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09TT21
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
NuCrypt LLC
1840 Oak Ave., Suite 212S Evanston, IL -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Novel protocol for Quantum Key Distribution
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9550-10-C-0079
Award Amount: $99,986.00


Quantum key distribution (QKD) is an exciting application of the quantum theory to the important real-world problem of secure communications. Specifically, QKD may allow for provably secure key distribution. These random keys can then be used either in a one-time-pad style encryption system (for absolute security at low rates) or a standard encryption system (for high security at high rates). Traditional means of distributing keys are not provably secure. The value of QKD thus rests in its unprecedented high level of security, so it is critical to maintain the integrity of the theoretical security advantage in any actual implementation. In practice, issues associated with non-ideal components used in protocol implementation, and with information leakage from the classical communication channel required between the legitimate users, can make it more difficult to guarantee security. They also reduce the key rate and the maximum key distribution distance. We propose to investigate a new protocol for QKD that reduces the burden on the classical communication channel leading to better efficiency and more security. We also investigate the use of emerging technologies for quantum state generation and detection which may also improve efficiency, reach, and security of the QKD systems. BENEFIT: The technologies investigated in this proposal have a direct use in practical and highly secure quantum key distribution systems. Such systems may benefit ultra-secure applications in the military, government, and the private sector. The sub-components developed have other applications in fields such as imaging, metrology, and quantum computation. For instance, we will be developing very fast single-photon detectors. Such detectors may be useful in a variety of applications including deep-space communications, optical instrumentation, laser ranging, and spectroscopy.

Principal Investigator:

Gregory S. Kanter
VP Engineering

Business Contact:

Prem Kumar
Manager / CEO
Small Business Information at Submission:

NuCrypt LLC
1840 Oak Ave., Suite 212S Evanston, IL 60201

EIN/Tax ID: 061695087
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Northwestern University
633 Clark Street
Evanston, IL 60208-1110
Contact: Susan G. Ross
Contact Phone: 8474913003