Raman Research Institute breakthrough to make online transactions safe
According to experts, quantum communication protects data by using the laws of quantum physics, which allow quantum particles like photons to transmit data.
Published: 02nd April 2023 11:14 AM | Last Updated: 02nd April 2023 11:14 AM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: A team of researchers from Bengaluru-based Raman Research Institute (RRI) has discovered a secure quantum communication link that is set to help India design and develop secure communication channels, especially for defence and strategic purposes, enhance cyber security and even make online transactions and remote electronic voting much safer. It has become the first Indian team to achieve this breakthrough.
According to experts, quantum communication protects data by using the laws of quantum physics, which allow quantum particles like photons to transmit data. The particles, called quantum bits, or ‘qubits’, are extremely fragile in the quantum state. If a hacker interferes when these particles are in transit, the latter’s fragility prevents a successful hacking as their attempt to persist, exposes them through signatures of their activity, helping identify the hacking process and alerting the cybersecurity mechanism to pull the plug on the data transmission.
The Indian breakthrough has come as part of the Quantum Experiments using Satellite Technology (QuEST) project for which RRI has been collaborating with the UR Rao Satellite Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) since 2017.
The RRI researchers successfully achieved a secure quantum communication established between a stationary source and a moving receiver using Quantum Key Distribution, demonstrating that it can now pave the way for ground-to-satellite-based secure quantum communication in the future. This was done to simulate an earth-orbiting communication satellite and a stationary ground station with which it maintains communication links.
Info transmitted from static to moving source
The RRI team, led by Prof Urbasi Sinha at the Quantum Information and Computing (QuIC) lab at the institute, achieved this feat by deploying the indigenously-developed Pointing, Acquisition and Tracking (PAT) system.
The PAT assisted the ground-based source in tracking the moving receiver, in this case, a terrestrial vehicle, a few metres apart. The successful experimental demonstration was held at RRI in early March this year.
“The present demonstration is in continuation to the QuIC lab’s QKD established between two buildings on the RRI campus using an atmospheric free space channel in February 2021, another first in India,” according to the RRI.
Although the PAT system has been widely used in satellite communications, achieving the establishment of secure quantum key distribution using the PAT system between a stationary source and a mobile receiver was not achieved in India before, according to Prof Sinha.