Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Michael R. Grimaila, PhD.


Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) systems combine cryptographic primitives with quantum information theory to produce a theoretic unconditionally secure cryptographic key. However, real-world implementations of QKD systems are far from ideal and differ significantly from the theoretic model. Because of this, real-world QKD systems require additional practical considerations when implemented to achieve secure operations. In this thesis, a content analysis of the published literature is conducted to determine if established security and cryptographic standards and best practices are addressed in real world, practical QKD implementations. The research reveals that most published, real world QKD implementations do not take advantage of established security and cryptographic standards and best practices. Based upon an analysis of existing security and cryptographic standards and best practices, systems architecture methodology is used to make recommendations as to how these standards can and should be applied to establish a practical, secure, QKD system framework.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number