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September 28, 2020

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The EPSRC quantum communications hub

Timothy P. Spiller, “The EPSRC quantum communications hub,” Proc. SPIE 11540, Emerging Imaging and Sensing Technologies for Security and Defence V; and Advanced Manufacturing Technologies for Micro- and Nanosystems in Security and Defence III, 1154005 (20 September 2020);¬†

The Quantum Communications Hub is one of four Hubs comprising the research and development end of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme. This programme is now in its second phase (2019-2024), following a successful first phase that ran 2014-2019. Our Hub provides the UK focus for the quantum communications sector. In this talk I’ll provide a brief overview of the Hub’s phase 1 developments, which mainly concentrated on progressing quantum key distribution (QKD) towards wider application. The grand vision of the phase 2 Hub is integrated secure quantum communications at all distance scales. For practicality and flexibility, this involves free-space communications at the shortest distance scales, fibre-based communications at the metrolpolitan and inter-city distance scales covered by current fibre networking, and free-space communications to support the very longest distances required for global reach. I’ll outline the Hub activities on short-range consumer QKD, fibre networking and long distance satellite-to-ground QKD. I’ll also cover our work on new protocols, hybrid secure communications, standards and components.