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Quantum Internet Signals Beamed Between Drones a Kilometer Apart

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Motorized devices on each drone moved to ensure receivers and transmitters always lined up.

Entangled photons have been sent between two drones hovering a kilometer apart.

Credit: Hua-Ying Liu et al

Researchers at China's Nanjing University have sent entangled photons between two 35-kilogram drones located a kilometer apart, a development that could pave the way for quantum encryption.

The study marks the first time photon entanglement has been transmitted between moving devices.

The pair of entangled photons was created using a laser on board one drone by splitting a single photon with a crystal. The receivers and transmitters were lined up using motorized devices on each drone, and a short piece of fiber-optic cable was used to focus and steer the photons through a relay drone.

Imperial College London's Myungshik Kim said it is important that researchers were able to engineer complex optics into moving drones, given even small rotational differences can make it hard to maintain quantum connections.

From New Scientist
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