Simulating quantum repeater strategies for multiple satellites

Julius Wallnöfer, Frederik Hahn, Mustafa Gündoğan, Jasminder S. Sidhu, Fabian Wiesner, Nathan Walk, Jens Eisert, Janik Wolters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


A global quantum repeater network involving satellite-based links is likely to have advantages over fiber-based networks in terms of long-distance communication, since the photon losses in vacuum scale only polynomially with the distance – compared to the exponential losses in optical fibers. To simulate the performance of such networks, we have introduced a scheme of large-scale event-based Monte Carlo simulation of quantum repeaters with multiple memories that can faithfully represent loss and imperfections in these memories. In this work, we identify the quantum key distribution rates achievable in various satellite and ground station geometries for feasible experimental parameters. The power and flexibility of the simulation toolbox allows us to explore various strategies and parameters, some of which only arise in these more complex, multi-satellite repeater scenarios. As a primary result, we conclude that key rates in the kHz range are reasonably attainable for intercontinental quantum communication with three satellites, only one of which carries a quantum memory.
Original languageEnglish
Article number169
JournalCommunications Physics
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022


  • quantum repeater
  • satellites
  • quantum communication networks
  • satellite-based free-space QKD (satQKD)


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