In news– Recently, a team of scientists from DRDO and IIT Delhi have successfully demonstrated Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) link between Prayagraj and Vindhyachal in Uttar Pradesh, a distance of more than 100 kilometers.
About Quantum Key Distribution (QKD)-
- It is primarily a mechanism to undertake secure communication which utilizes a cryptographic protocol involving various components of quantum mechanics.
- It enables two communicating sides to come up with random secret keys shared by both of them and known exclusively to them, so only they can use it to encrypt and decrypt messages, thus achieving a very highly-secure communication.
- QKD works by transmitting many light particles, or photons, over fiber optic cables between parties.
- An important and unique property of QKD is the ability of the two communicating users to detect the presence of any third party trying to gain knowledge of the key.
- This results from a fundamental aspect of quantum mechanics: the process of measuring a quantum system in general disturbs the system.
- The recent test by DRDO was achieved over a commercial-grade optical fiber already available in the field.
- With this success, the country has demonstrated indigenous technology of secure key transfer for bootstrapping military-grade communication security key hierarchy.
- In December 2020, the technology was tested for communication between two DRDO facilities in Hyderabad the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI) over a distance of 12 km.
- The technology is expected to help define standards and formulate crypto technology-related policies that can use the QKD system in a unified Cipher Policy Committee (CPC) framework.
What is Quantum technology?
- It is an emerging field of physics and engineering, based on the principles of Quantum mechanics developed in the early 20th century to describe nature at the scale of atoms and elementary particles.
- Quantum technology is manifested through applications in secure communication, disaster management through better prediction, computing, simulation, chemistry, healthcare, cryptography, imaging among others.
What is cryptography?
- Cryptography, or cryptology, is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of adversarial behavior.
- It allows only the sender and intended recipient of a message to view its contents.