Experimental verification of the feasibility of a quantum channel between space and Earth

Paolo Villoresi, Thomas Jennewein, F Tamburini, Markus Aspelmeyer, C Bonato, Rupert Ursin, C Pernechele, V Luceri, C Bianco, Anton Zeilinger, Cesare Barbieri

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


Extending quantum communication to space environments wouldenable us to perform fundamental experiments on quantum physics as well asapplications of quantum information at planetary and interplanetary scales. Here,we report on the first experimental study of the conditions for the implementationof the single-photon exchange between a satellite and an Earth-based station.Webuilt an experiment that mimics a single photon source on a satellite, exploitingthe telescope at the Matera Laser Ranging Observatory of the Italian SpaceAgency to detect the transmitted photons. Weak laser pulses, emitted by theground-based station, are directed toward a satellite equipped with cube-cornerretroreflectors. These reflect a small portion of the pulse, with an average of lessthan-one photon per pulse directed to our receiver, as required for faint-pulse
Original languageEnglish
Article number033038
Number of pages12
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 103026 Quantum optics


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