Iran has launched phase three of tests on quantum key distribution (QKD), a secure communication method which implements a cryptographic protocol involving components of quantum mechanics.
Present at the unveiling ceremony was head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi, who described the quantum technology as very important.
“The quantum technology is a very significant one whose roadmap was initiated in modern industrial countries in the early 21st century, and the world has seriously stepped into this realm in the recent decade,” he said.
“Theoretical issues go back 80 years, and it was in the late 90s when Western countries began work on this at the laboratory and hardware level,” said Salehi.
“We also started practical work at the AEOI in 2016,” he added.
“In June 2020, we tested this project at the AEOI at a distance of 300 metres at a high rate. We managed to produce 117 bits per second of quantum key,” he said.
“The next phase of this project covers the distance between the Azadi Tower and the Milad Tower (two major landmarks in Tehran) which are almost 7 kilometres apart, and will hopefully be conducted next summer,” he explained.
“The following stages of data transmission will be carried out at higher and longer distances by drones and hot-air balloons. Afterwards, we will be ready to install the equipment on satellites,” he added.