This is one of several environments being built across Europe for the Open European Quantum Key Distribution (OPENQKD) organisation.
The OPENQKD has 30 partners who are working to accelerate the development of quantum-safe data transmission. This is a high hope, given how long quantum tech has been on the verge of hitting the commercial use.
To this end, several test environments are being installed throughout Europe. In Berlin, researchers now have access to an extensive fibre optic network with IT infrastructure.
All types of QKD systems can be tested on it and limitations can be sounded out.
Currently their range is about 100km as optical amplifiers cannot be used. The researchers want to find out how individual QKD systems can be interconnected to form a QKD network.
The aim is to protect the management of communication networks and data transmission over them from possible attacks. In addition to the basic research for the consortium, the scientists also investigate various telecom-specific applications, such as if a stable, secure and cost-saving quantum optical communication links could be used in Deutsche Telekom’s (DT) networks.
The research also aims to encrypt connections to the 5G network.
Finally, researchers want to develop and implement a target architecture for QKD key exchange in telcos’ networks.
Real life use cases
The OPENQKD consortium is coordinated by the AITAustrian Institute of Technology.
Testing is carried out at 16 locations and there are four large test environments in Vienna, Poznan Madrid and Berlin for real use cases.
They include the encryption of confidential data between ministries, high performance computing and the protection of critical infrastructure.