DRDO Lab Develops QRNG

The DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory for Quantum Technologies (DYSL-QT), a DRDO facility based in Mumbai, has developed a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) which has the ability to detect random quantum events and convert those into a stream of binary digits.

  • The facility has developed a fiber-optic branch path based QRNG. Branch path-based QRNG relies on the principle that if a single photon falls on a balanced beam splitter, it will take either of the beam-splitter output paths randomly. As the path chosen by the photon is random, the randomness is translated to a sequence of binary digits, also called bits.

Importance of Random Numbers

  • Random numbers have essential roles in various fields ranging from quantum communication, cryptography applications like key generation, key wrapping, and authentication along with scientific simulations, lotteries and fundamental physics experiments.
  • The generation of perfect randomness is generally considered impossible with classical methodologies. Quantum mechanics has the inherent potential of providing true random numbers and thus has become the preferred option for scientific applications requiring randomness.

About Young Scientist Laboratories

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has identified five niche technology areas and established the following Young Scientist Laboratories (YSLs) in year 2019:

  • Artificial Intelligence (DYSL-AI), Bengaluru
  • Quantum Technologies (DYSL-QT), Mumbai
  • Cognitive Technologies (DYSL-CT), Chennai
  • Asymmetric Technologies (DYSL-AT), Kolkata
  • Smart Materials (DYSL-SM), Hyderabad

Another Recent DRDO Feat on Quantum Technology

  • On December 8, the DRDO also successfully demonstrated Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) technology between two laboratories in Hyderabad, where the quantum technology-based security was validated for a range of 12 km long over a fibre optic channel.
  • 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, and only they can use it to encrypt and decrypt messages, thus achieving highly secure communication.