By Obada Alia, Rodrigo Stange Tessinari, Emilio Hugues-Salas, George T. Kanellos, Reza Nejabati and Dimitra Simeonidou.
Submitted to arXiv on 25 August 2021.
We demonstrate for the first time a trusted-node-free fully-meshed metro network with dynamic discrete-variable quantum key distribution DV-QKD networking capabilities across four optical network nodes. A QKD-aware centralised SDN controller is utilised to provide dynamicity in switching and rerouting. The feasibility of coexisting a quantum channel with carrier-grade classical optical channels over field-deployed and laboratory-based fibres is experimentally explored in terms of achievable quantum bit error rate, secret key rate as well as classical signal bit error rate. Moreover, coexistence analysis over multi-hops configuration using different switching scenarios is also presented. The secret key rate dropped 43 % when coexisting one classical channel with 150 GHz spacing from the quantum channel for multiple links. This is due to the noise leakage from the Raman scattering into the 100 GHz bandwidth of the internal filter of the Bob DV-QKD unit. When coexisting four classical channels with 150 GHz spacing between quantum and the nearest classical channel, the quantum channel deteriorates faster due to the combination of Raman noise, other nonlinearities and high aggregated launch power causing the QBER value to exceed the threshold of 6 % leading the SKR to reach a value of zero bps at a launch power of 7 dB per channel. Furthermore, the coexistence of a quantum channel and six classical channels through a field-deployed fibre Test Network is examined.