Quantum Communication Between Two DRDO Labs


The Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has undergone trials between two laboratories in Hyderabad where the quantum technology- based security was validated for a range of 12 km over a fibre optic channel.

  • The technology has been developed by two DRDO facilities, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), Bengaluru, and DRDO Young Scientists’ Laboratory – Quantum Technology (DYSL-QT), Mumbai.

What is QKD?

  • QKD is primarily a mechanism to undertake secure communication which utilises a cryptographic protocol involving various components of quantum mechanics.
  • The technology enables two communicating sides to come up with random secret keys shared by both of them and known exclusively to them, so only they can use it to encrypt and decrypt messages, thus achieving highly-secure communication.

Application

  • The work being done on QKD technology at DRDO will be used to enable start-ups and small and medium enterprises in the domain of quantum information technologies.
  • The technology is expected to help define standards and formulate crypto technology related policies that can use the QKD system in a unified Cipher Policy Committee (CPC) framework in the country for more secure ‘key management’ for current and future military cryptographic systems.

Why we need Secure Communication?

  • Secure communications are vital for defence and strategic agencies world over and distribution of encryption keys from time to time is an important requirement in this context. Sharing of keys over the air or wired links requires encryption, which in turn requires encryption keys to be pre-shared. Quantum-based communication offers a robust solution to sharing the keys securely.