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Figure 3 | EPJ Quantum Technology

Figure 3

From: Q3Sat: quantum communications uplink to a 3U CubeSat—feasibility & design

Figure 3

Schematic of the optics payload on board the 3U CubeSat. The signal and beacon beams from ground are collected by a Cassegrain-type mirror telescope. The back side of the secondary mirror carries the earth-facing beacon laser necessary for tracking of the CubeSat. The input signal and beacon are separated by a dichroic mirror (DM). The latter is tracked with a fast quadrant detector for precise attitude sensing and clock synchronization while the former passes a binary liquid-crystal-based half-wave plate switch (LC-HWP). It randomly shifts the polarization of incoming photons by either 0 or \(\frac{\pi }{4}\). This effectively acts as a measurement basis switch in combination with the polarizing beam splitter (PBS) separating horizontally (vertically) polarized photons by transmitting (reflecting) them. The second PBS is used for enhanced extinction ratios. Longpass (LP) and interference filters (IF) are used to block out stray light and the photons are detected by silicon-based avalanche photo diodes (APD).

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