Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Raymond R. Hill, PhD.


The need for secure communication in the presence of an adversary introduced the field of cryptology -- the practice and study of techniques for secure communication. A common method to secure communication is to distribute a secret key among authorized parties so they can encrypt and decrypt messages between each other. By doing so, ideally, any messages intercepted by a third party are meaningless. An innovative technique to distribute a shared key is Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). QKD uses laws of quantum mechanics to generate and distribute such keys. The purpose of this thesis is to validate an existing mathematical model that is abstract enough to model the essential characteristics of a wide range of QKD system designs. The current model is based on a set of coupled equations. Equation coupling is high as many output variables for a specific phase are inputs for other equations. Because of this, the model output response function is complex, motivating the use of experimentation and response surface modeling to characterize and understand the relationship between inputs and outputs. The mathematical model was designed to capture the essential details associated with a wide variety of system configurations (i.e., designs). Surfaces representing the relationships between inputs and outputs are plotted and used with subject matter experts (SME's) to validate model behavior. After validation, a genetic algorithm is used to optimize the estimated surface. Our findings confirm the complexity of the model and indicate the presence of extreme outliers.

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DTIC Accession Number