Abstract

The transmittance fluctuation resulting from free space optics will impart the continuous-variable quantum key distribution (CV-QKD). In this paper, we study the CV-QKD over free space by taking practical transmittance fluctuation into account. The transmittance is modeled following the Gaussian distribution, which reflects the most realistic fluctuation since all sources of perturbation are required to be incorporated together in practice. The comprehensive comparison between the practical model and existing models in secret key rate is drawn. The numerical results reveal that the existing model of uniform distribution underestimates the impact of air link for both slow and fast fading scenarios, and the practical secret key rate will suffer severer degradation. Further, as the variance of the Gaussian model decreases, the secret key rate degrades as well. Also, a comparison between heterodyne and homodyne detection schemes is made, and we found that the heterodyne detection outperforms the homodyne detection in the secret key rate for both the slow and fast fading air quantum channels.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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