In this paper we propose and validate an algorithm
for the automatic and deterministic state of polarization (SOP)
generation, with direct application in polarization-encoded
quantum key distribution (QKD) systems. The proposed SOP
generation algorithm uses an electronic polarization controller
(EPC), whose active elements entail the concatenation of several
fiber-squeezing-based waveplates. Initially, we carry out a
characterization of the waveplates. After that, we present in detail
the working principle of the proposed algorithm. Finally, the
effectiveness of the algorithm is experimentally assessed through
the calculation of the quantum bit error rate (QBER), where an
Arduino Due is used to control the different waveplates of the
EPC. The QBER was measured for periods of 4 hours and 10
hours when generating two or four SOPs, respectively, with an
overall average QBER value of 2%. Results show the potential of
the proposed method regarding the generation of automatic and
deterministic SOPs, thus demonstrating viability for its practical
implementation in polarization-encoding QKD systems.
Sara Mantey and Mariana Ramos (Instituto de Telecomunicações and University of Aveiro, Portugal); Nuno Alexandre Silva (Instituto de Telecomunicações & University of Aveiro, Portugal); Armando Nolasco Pinto (Instituto de Telecomunicações - Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal); Nelson Muga (Instituto de Telecomunicações, Portugal)
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