Hiding images in noise

Johnson, S. , McMillan, A., Frick, S., Rarity, J. and Padgett, M. (2023) Hiding images in noise. Optics Express, 31(4), pp. 5290-5296. (doi: 10.1364/OE.480881)

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A limitation of free-space optical communications is the ease with which the information can be intercepted. This limitation can be overcome by hiding the information within background optical noise. We demonstrate the transfer of images over free-space using a photon-pair source emitting two correlated beams. One of these beams contains image information, to which noise is added, and the other correlated beam is used as a heralding trigger so that the intended recipient can differentiate this image signal from the background noise. The system uses spontaneous parametric down-conversion to create photon-pairs with a wide spectral bandwidth and a gated intensified camera to extract the image from the background noise. The high-dimensionality of the image space means that the information content can be many bits per detected photon, whereas the heralding photon can be restricted to a single spatial-mode within a secure fiber which itself could be protected against interception by traditional low-dimensionality quantum key protocols.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) EP/T00097X/1 and EP/S026444/1. Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training (EPSRC) EP/L015730/1.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnson, Dr Steven and Padgett, Professor Miles
Authors: Johnson, S., McMillan, A., Frick, S., Rarity, J., and Padgett, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Optics Express
Publisher:Optica Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):1094-4087
Published Online:30 January 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 Optica Publishing Group
First Published:First published in Optics Express 31(4): 5290-5296
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.1362

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
305567QuantIC - The UK Quantum Technoogy Hub in Quantum Enhanced ImagingMiles PadgettEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/T00097X/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy
305029Looking and Listening in Complex Media - UDRADaniele FaccioEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/S026444/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy