Quantum technologies at PTB

Two workshops are taking place these days at the “Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt” in Braunschweig, Germany. The topics are

The idea is to serve as a networking event for the German quantum technology community, both from science as well as industry, and to collect input towards a “quantum competence” center, which is now being established at the German national metrology institute PTB.

InfiniQuant was invited to give a talk on the practical challenges for a startup project hosted in the field of quantum cryptography. The program of the first workshop can be summarized:

  • Tutorials on quantum technologies (q. mechanics, q. metrology, atomic q. systems, photonic q. systems, solid-state q.-systems and electrical q.-metrology)
  • Block 1: Clocks, time and frequency
  • Block 2: Electrical quantum metrology
  • Block 3: Atom interferometry and geodesics
  • Block 4: Single photon metrology and quantum cryptography

The second workshop has just started and will have the following program:

  • Tutorials on quantum communication (Q.-information, Q.-cryptography, Hardware components)
  • Industry contributions (QKD as a network operator; The price of security/QKD; Optical precision measurements for  q.-technology; Space-based, global q.-communication)
  • Quantum technology and the German Security Agency (BSI)
  • Industrial requirements on networks (QRANGE project (Bosch), Cyber-Secruity and q.-technology)
  • Activities of the flagship
  • Panel discussion

Both events help the German quantum community further grow and connect, especially now in times of world-wide quantum flagship activities.

Photonic Days in Berlin Brandenburg

The yearly photonic days of Berlin and Brandenburg took place in mid October this year. With them, a special symposium on “Photonics for secure and high speed communication” was held, for which the program can be found here. As part of the symposium, the current state of the art of quantum communication was discussed. InfiniQuant was invited to present the status of continuous-variable quantum key distribution in this exciting session with the following talks:

  • Dr. Janik Wolters from University of Basel: “Quantum repeaters – the backbone of secured communication”
  • Prof. Dr. Ronald Freund from Fraunhofer HHI in Berlin: “Quantum-Secured German Internet”
  • Imran Khan, InfiniQuant/MPL Erlangen: “Commercializing continuous-variable quantum key distribution”

A common denominator of the session was the European Quantum Flagship, which currently offers many possibilities to push basic research towards real world applications. The potential for innovation in quantum technologies is high and the InfiniQuant team is actively participating in what is called “the second quantum revolution”.

Max-Planck Day

On September 14, all Max-Planck-Institutes in Germany opened their doors for the interested public to get a peek into state of the art basic science. The motto of the day was “Wonach suchst du?” (engl.: what are you looking for?). This served as a theme to collect questions from the public and post them together with answers from scientists on the campaign website.

50 volunteers at our Max-Planck-Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen volunteered to present our scientific work to the general public. With over 700 interested visitors, 10 different laboratory tours, 10 hands-on experiments and 4 scientific talks, the day was a great success. One of the demonstrated experiments was a fun game by InfiniQuant where to goal was to guess the next number a quantum random number generator would produce. It gave us the opportunity to combine the interesting science behind the game with some fun rewards and entertained visitors.

To catch a glimpse of the day, check out the video on Facebook.

European Conference on Optical Communication

The European Conference on Optical Communication 2018 was held in Rome at the end of September. A special workshop day preceded the conference on Sunday the 23rd. Session #6 was dedicated to quantum communications for secure optical networks. InfiniQuant was invited and presented the current activities in continuous-variable quantum key distribution. What was especially interesting is that the quantum workshop was hosted on a telecommunications conference, indicating the unification of the two scientific fields. This shows that quantum technologies is getting even closer to a real world technology like telecommunication.

See the program below to get an idea of the diverse range of topics that were addressed:

Session 1: Quantum communications for secure optical networks – Part 1

Paolo Mantaloni University of Rome, Italy
Title: “Integrated photonics devices for quantum communications”

Charles (Ci Wen) Lim National University of Singapore, Singapore
Title: “How to gain more trust in quantum hardware used for quantum cryptography? ”

Romain Alléaume Télécom ParisTech Paris, France
Title: “Combining quantum and computational approaches to upgrade secure networks”

Hugo Zbinden Université de Genève, Switzerland
Title: “Fast and simple Quantum Key Distribution for secure optical communication”

Norbert Lütkenhaus University of Waterloo, Canada
Title: “Key and network management for QKD trusted node networks”

Vicente Martin Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
Title: “The integration of quantum communications in novel networks”

Imran Khan / Christoph Marquardt Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light,  Germany
Title: “Commercialising continuous-variable quantum key distribution”


Session 2: Quantum communications for secure optical networks – Part 2

Yibo Zhao Zhejiang Quantum Technologies Co. Ltd, China
Title: “Three layer architecture for quantum key distribution network in practice and a necessary secret key cloud”

Zhao Yong QuantumCTek Co, China
Title: “Quantum safe integrated communication network in China”

Andrew Lord British Telecom, UK
Title: “Integration of QKD into telecom networks”

Andreas Poppe Huawei Technolgies, Germany
Title: “Integration of CV-QKD in optical networks”

Sean Kwak SK telecom, South Korea
Title: “Quantum communication network in South Korea”

Grégoire Ribardy ID Quantique SA, Switzerland
Title: “Practical Applications of Quantum Key Distribution”

Bad Honnef Physics School on Quantum Technologies

The German Physical Society decided to host their first DPG summer school on quantum technologies. Around 85 interested students signed up for the dense program of around 20 in-depth lectures on state of the art quantum technologies, covering a wide range of topic from magnetic sensing, over atom interferometry, quantum computing and of course quantum communication, just to highlight a few.

Since current quantum technology efforts are also focused on technology transfer from basic science to industry, the organizers decided to add an industry session to the program. This session included pitch talks and a relaxed poster session at the nice outdoor ambiance of the Bad Honnef physics center. The range of participants went from well established companies like TOPTICA Photonics, to freshly founded startups like Quandela or Qnami or startup projects like us – InfiniQuant.

Imaging and Applied Optics Conference

The Imaging and Applied Optics Congress 2018 took place in Orlanda, Florida, USA and was hosted by the Optical Society. InfiniQuant was invited to give a talk on the Applied Industrial Optics part of the congress and also give a demonstration of the technology. We decided to build a portable version of our quantum random number generator and showed it after our invited talk. The talk itsself was on “Quantum Communication in Space – Challenges and Opportunities”. Read up on the conference proceedings here to get some more information. We were happy to present our ongoing quantum communication science to such a diverse audience and learned many lessons along the way of what it takes to transform fundamental research into applied science.

ESA’s Quantum Technology – Implementations for Space Workshop

The 2nd workshop on “Quantum Technology and Implementations for Space” was being held in Noordvijk at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) on Nov 14 and 15, 2017. There was a broad programme covering the following topics in different sessions:

  • I – Earth and Planetary remote sensing
  • II – Time and frequency distribution
  • III – Commercialisation
  • IV – Communications – including satellite (quantum) networks
  • V – Policy
  • VI – Fundamental Physics

The strategic report of the QTSpace initiative was handed over by the chair of the QTSpace committee Angelo Bassi  over to ESA, represented by Franco Ongaro (Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality and Head of ESTEC) and Jean-François Buggenhout (Deputy Head of Unit, DG CONNECT, European Commission).

Session IV was introduced by Dr. Eric Wille who gave ESA’s perspective on the topic. It was followed up by Prof. Dr. Paolo Villoresi (University of Padova, Italy), giving a keynote speech of the status of Quantum Communication in Space and its role in the QT Flagship.

This was complemented by elevator pitches from research groups in Europe and Canada:

  • Dr. Markus Gräfe (Fraunhofer IOF Jena, DE) – a rugged and entangled photon source,
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Jennewein (IQC, Waterloo, CA) – status of the Canadian satellite quantum communication project,
  • Ass. Prof. Dr. Vadim Makarov (IQC Waterloo, CA) – showing radiation damange to APDs and how to anneal the damage,
  • PD Dr. Christoph Marquardt (MPL, Erlangen, DE) – status of the German space quantum communication activities,
  • Vladyslav Usenko (Palacky University, Olomouc, CZ) – status of the Olomouc quantum communication theory work,
  • and Jonathan Wakeling (BT Group) – showing the perspective of a provider and highlighting an alternative scenario of securing the control plane of networks instead of using the networks for secure communication.

The Erlangen InfiniQuant project also had the chance to exhibit during the workshop and update on the quantum communication. The exhibition and poster session was hosted in the ERASMUS building, showcasing a lot of space equipment and crafts on the premises of the ESTEC institution.

InfiniQuant exhibiting at QCRYPT 2017

The 7th International Conference on Quantum Cryptography (QCRYPT) is being in held in Cambridge this year. The event is taking place from September 18 to 22. InfiniQuant is presenting its project status at the industry exhibition, showing off the current work done with satellites, ground stations and fiber-based research on quantum communication. We are also showcasing a fun “classical security contest” in the form of lockpicking our gummy bear filled Alice and Bob boxes!

With the conference, we have also introduced a new community section on our website. The idea is that quantum communication is a very interdisciplinary field and requires both a broad knowledge of different fields, like quantum mechanics, computer science and engineering, but also deep knowledge to get the security aspects right. As such, we see this as an opportunity to form a common knowledge basis that can be used and nourished by the scientific community to understand the current state of the art of the field. We believe that a clear understanding of the facts can only be developed in collaboration between experts from their respective fields.

So far the section features an overview of the status of security proofs for quantum key distribution distinguished by the assumptions used in them and an incomplete publication database that is meant to be filled over coming months to reflect all key parameters relevant for quantum key distribution in a filterable and searchable way.

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