Schreier A, Alia O, Wang R, Singh R, Faulkner G, Kanellos G, Nejabati R, Simeonidou D, Rarity J, O’Brien D. “Coexistence of Quantum and 1.6 Tbit/s Classical Data Over Fibre-Wireless-Fibre Terminals”, Journal of Lightwave Technology, 1-7, 2023. DOI: 10.1109/JLT.2023.3258146
In this paper a fibre free-space fibre link that allows a quantum key distribution (QKD) signal and high-speed data to be transmitted in a single optical beam is presented. This setup has the potential to provide ultra-high data rate secure wireless connectivity within indoor spaces. Both quantum and classical channels were transmitted using wavelengths in the C band, over a range of 2.5 m in free space and in the presence of a 200 lx background illumination. Raman noise caused by the light propagating in the optical fibres which provide connections to the free-space segment, together with geometric loss of the free-space link are the major impairments. Results yield secret key rates of 2.343 kbit/s when the QKD signal is sent without high-speed data (and associated Raman noise), and rates of 1.305 – 1.996 kbit/s when high-speed data is also transmitted (depending on spectral separation of QKD and classical information). Further, it is shown that the secret key rate can be optimised by increasing loss to attenuate the Raman noise by misalignment of the link. Improvement of the secret key rate from 1.305 kbit/s to 1.887 kbit/s was shown using this method.