Secure optical communication using a quantum alarm.

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Gong, Y 
Kumar, R 
Ren, S 

Optical fibre networks are advancing rapidly to meet growing traffic demands. Security issues, including attack management, have become increasingly important for optical communication networks owing to the vulnerabilities associated with tapping light from optical fibre link. Physical layer security often requires restricting access to the channel and periodic inspection of the link performance. In this paper, we report how quantum communication techniques can be utilized to detect a physical layer attack. We present an efficient method for monitoring the physical layer security of a high data rate classical optical communication network using a modulated continuous variable quantum signal. We describe the theoretical and experimental underpinnings of this monitoring system, and the monitoring accuracy for different monitored parameters. We analyse its performance in both unamplified and amplified optical links. The technique represents a novel approach in applying quantum signal processing to practical optical communication networks and compares well with classical monitoring methods. We conclude by discussing the challenges in its practical application, its difference with existing quantum key distribution, and its usage in future secure optical transport network planning.

Fibre optics and optical communications, Quantum optics
Journal Title
Light: Science and Applications
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Springer Nature
EPSRC (via University of York) (EP/M013472/1)
EPSRC (via University of York) (EP/T001011/1)
EPSRC (via University College London (UCL)) (EP/S028854/1)
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