Long-range, high bit-rate secure key distribution link utilizing Raman Ultra-long fiber laser (UFL)

Atalla E. El-Taher, Omer Kotlicki, Jacob Scheuer, Paul Harper, Sergei K. Turitsyn

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The distribution of the secret key is the weakest link of many data encryption systems. Quantum key distribution (QKD) schemes provide attractive solutions [1], however their implementation remains challenging and their range and bit-rate are limited. Moreover, practical QKD systems, employ real-life components and are, therefore, vulnerable to diverse attack schemes [2]. Ultra-Long fiber lasers (UFLs) have been drawing much attention recently because of their fundamentally different properties compared to conventional lasers as well as their unique applications [3]. Here, we demonstrate a 100Bps, practically secure key distribution, over a 500km link, employing Raman gain UFL. Fig. 1(a) depicts a schematic of the UFL system. Each user has an identical set of two wavelength selective mirrors centered at l0 and l 1. In order to exchange a key-bit, each user independently choose one of these mirrors and introduces it as a laser reflector at their end. If both users choose identical mirrors, a clear signal develops and the bits in these cases are discarded. However if they choose complementary mirrors, (1, 0 or 0, 1 states), the UFL remains below lasing threshold and no signal evolves. In these cases, an eavesdropper can only detect noise and is unable to determine the mirror choice of the users, where the choice of mirrors represent a single key bit (e.g. Alice's choice of mirror is the key-bit). These bits are kept and added to the key. The absence of signal in the secure states faxilitates fast measurements to distinguish between the non-secure and the secure states and to determine the key-bit in the later case, Sequentially reapeating the single bit exchange protocol generate the entire keys of any desirable length.


Conference2013 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe and International Quantum Electronics Conference, CLEO/Europe-IQEC 2013


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