Quantum Communications Hub » Partnership Resource

The Quantum Communications Hub has allocated funds (Partnership Resource) to support new collaborations which are closely aligned with the work of the Hub and support new capabilities. Submission of proposals for consideration by the Hub Management Team is open throughout the year.

If you are interested in finding out more, please have a look at the guidelines: Partnership Resource Guidelines_Final

To date, the Hub has awarded funding to the support the following projects:


The Quantum NODE
Project partners: University of Bristol, University of Glasgow, BT

This proposal will establish the foundations for developing a quantum NODE (Quantum Network Operational Device rEceiver) Architecture, using silicon-based waveguide circuits with integrated superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SNSPDs). This new node-based network architecture will dramatically reduce the resources required for secure quantum communication networks, relieving the users from the need to have bulky and costly high performing detectors, and concentrating these expensive resources into a single central location. Integrated photonics approaches will be utilised to significantly reduce the technology footprint, whilst simultaneously enabling scaling. The proposal builds on a highly successful existing collaboration between the University of Bristol and the University of Glasgow, expanding on joint activity on integrated quantum photonics for quantum computing supported by a EPSRC programme grant. BT will provide their networking expertise to deploy a NODE network demonstration at Adastral Park – proving a compelling quantum NODE demonstrator for the Quantum Communications Hub. Proof-of-principle prototypes of this NODE concept will be demonstrated, targeting fully integrated NODE devices suitable for scaling up to support many users in later development stages.


Flexible Quantum Wireless System
Project partners: University of Bristol, University of Oxford

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a cryptographic scheme which provides an unrivaled level of data security. Our project specifically investigates practical application of QKD in securing short-range wireless communication between a terminal such as an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) and a handheld device (e.g. mobile phone). This quantum security model can be extended to mobile phone payment and other indoor wireless applications. Our Consortium (Bristol and Oxford) has existing effort in quantum wireless security. Oxford has a project (funded by Innovate UK) in specifically studying the feasibility of a quantum wireless system with hand-movement tracking capability; while Bristol (Quantum Communications Hub) has a work package in developing next generation credit card with quantum enhanced security. Together, we will develop a flexible platform for future quantum wireless technology.


3D Photonic Components for Quantum Optical Communications
Project lead: Heriot Watt University

The primary goal of this project will be to develop 3D integrated multiport interferometers for state elimination measurements in quantum optical fibre communications systems. It is anticipated that such components will offer considerable benefits over bulk optic systems, including stability, compactness and manufacturability, with higher throughputs than are currently achievable with other integration platforms e.g. silicon-on-insulator. A secondary and higher risk aim will be to investigate the feasibility of developing mode-coupling and sorting components, based on “photonic lanterns”, for the implementation of space-division-multiplexed quantum communications (both free-space and optical-fibre based). These components will be used to adiabatically couple N single mode data channels to the N modes of a multimode waveguide, which can then be used in different communications links. Examples include: potential free-space applications with a view to communicating with orbiting satellites, or multi-core fibre demonstrations.


Wide angle receivers for long-distance free-space QKD (a precursor to satellite QKD) 
Project Lead: Heriot Watt University

The biggest challenge to overcome in long-distance QKD is optical loss. Current mission designs foresee separate optical telescopes, light sources and detectors for the quantum channel and the classical guiding beacon, which strains the stringent size and payload limitations any space mission is subject to. A new design is proposed, that combines quantum key detection and pointing-and-tracking hardware into a single receiver. The goal is to build up a quantum receiver for time-bin qubits with a large field of view, and that will provide spatial information for pointing and tracking directly from the quantum signal.


High speed (100 Gbps) encrypted optical communication system based on Quantum Key Distribution and fast Optical Code scrambling         Project partners: Heriot Watt University, University of Bristol

Quantum key exchange will be used to seed optical code scrambling (OCS), in order to provide significantly enhanced security at high speed (>100 Gbps) data rates. The resources and expertise from three groups at HWU and Bristol will be combined. The High Performance Networks (HPN) group at Bristol led by Simeonidou will provide the 100 Gbps test-bed, and access to the national dark fibre facility (NDFIS) along with the “Bristol is Open” facility. Bristol will also provide relevant technical support. Buller’s group from HWU will set up and operate the quantum key distribution system. Wang’s group from HWU will implement and set up the OCS sections and carry out the 100 Gbps OC transmission experiments at Bristol facilities.