Satellite Quantum Key Distribution
NASA @ unsplash.com
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) leverages physics and applies the quantum nature of photons while creating impenetrable encryption keys. Due to the fundamental quantum laws, where intercepting or measuring the system disturbs and breaks it, the system becomes tamper-proof and unhackable. Satellite QKD uses lasers to exchange keys in Earth Orbit, thus creating a dynamic and potentially globally scaled ultra-safe system.
Simply put, it works as follows: The satellite first swaps photons with site A to generate Quantum Key A. When the satellite goes over Site B, it repeats the step to generate Key B. In the satellite, Key B encrypts Key A, and the result is sent back to Earth. B can now calculate A's key. A and B can then use their mutual key to communicate safely over the Internet.
Applications of Satellite QKD can be seen in government networks, financial institutions, and other critical infrastructures such as energy grids.