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Space-based quantum networking in the presence of a nuclear disturbed environment

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Journal Name
Applied Optics
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Space-based quantum networks provide a means for near-term long-distance transmission of quantum information. This article analyzed the performance of a downlink quantum network between a low-Earth-orbit satellite and an observatory operating in less-than-ideal atmospheric conditions. The effects from fog, haze, and a nuclear disturbed environment on the long-range distribution of quantum states were investigated. A density matrix that estimates the quantum state by capturing the effects from increased signal loss and elevated background noise to estimate the state fidelity of the transmitted quantum state was developed. It was found that the nuclear disturbed environment and other atmospheric effects have a degrading effect on the quantum state. These environments impede the ability to perform quantum communications for the duration of the effects. In the case of the nuclear disturbed environment, the nuclear effects subside quickly, and network performance should return to normal by the next satellite pass.