Qubitekk, ORNL and LANL successfully demonstrated QKD performance in a real environment at EPB, Chattanooga, TN


OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 12, 2020 — For the second year in a row, a team from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge and Los Alamos national laboratories led a demonstration hosted by EPB, a community-based utility and telecommunications company serving Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Using an isolated portion of EPB’s fiber-optic network, the team experimented with quantum-based technologies that could improve the cybersecurity, longevity and efficiency of the nation’s power grid. Among other successes, the researchers drastically increased the range that these resources can cover in collaboration with their new industry partner, Qubitekk.

The team tested quantum key distribution, or QKD, systems that harness the power of quantum mechanics to authenticate data and encrypt messages with a secret “key.” Using private encryption methods, the key securely transmits “locked” information from one QKD system to another through a “trusted node” that is virtually invulnerable to cyberattacks.

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