Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Douglas D. Hodson, PhD.


Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is an innovative technology which exploits the laws of quantum mechanics to generate and distribute shared secret keying material. QKD systems generate and distribute key by progressing through a number of distinct phases, typically in a serial manner. The purpose of this research is to identify these phases, their relationships to each other, as well as their relationship to time, memory space, computational requirements, and hardware resources. A mathematical model is developed which enables the study of critical system parameters, identifies and demonstrates potential bottlenecks that affect the overall key generation rate of serial implementations, and facilitates the analysis of design trade-offs in terms of parameters associated with specific implementations. Existing models of throughput performance make use of secure key rate equations which do not account for detailed system parameters and performance characteristics, particularly in the post-processing phases. In this research we build a model that is abstract enough to be applied to a wide range of QKD system configurations. The results of the model form an accurate prediction of throughput. The analysis contained herein provides QKD practitioners guidance in system analysis and design.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number