We describe an emerging method of encryption suitable for high-speed optical communication networks. This encryption protocol combines traditional electronic cryptographic algorithms with the physical effect of optical noise of quantum origin to create a highly secure method of secret communications. The resulting optical signal is compatible with today's high speed fiber optic infrastructure including optical amplification and add/drop multiplexing. Systems implementing this protocol can be constructed with common commercially available components. We describe experimental results obtained with a 2.5 Gb/s system. The encrypted signal is shown to travel error-free through >500 km of optical fiber. Simulations show that reaches and data rates consistent with modern long haul optical networks are attainable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering