Austrian Institute of Technology (Austria) – AIT

The AIT Austrian Institute of Technology is Austria’s largest research and technology organization. Among the European research institutes, AIT is a specialist in the key infrastructure issues of the future. The Center for Digital Safety & Security, which will be involved in UNIQORN has a recognized position in national and international innovation programs of security research programs and is based on strategic partnerships with key national security actors (BMI and BMLVS), as well as in international industrial initiatives such as ECSO (European Cyber Security Organization), PSCE (Public Safety Communication Europe, and ARTEMIS/ECSEL (European technology and research platform in the area of embedded and cyber physical systems).Since 2002 the Optical Quantum Technologies group (now part of the business unit Security & Communication Technologies) focuses on improving quantum key distribution systems and developing and advancing individual system components, spanning from building complete discrete and continuous variable QKD system (including entanglement-based QKD systems), to performing QKD security analysis and developing efficient algorithms for QKD post-processing. In 2004 the group started to develop and maintain software for QKD post processing and trusted repeater QKD networks. Since 2010 the code has been open-source code, is continually being improved, and meanwhile it is used by many academic groups and research partners. The Security & Communication Technologies unit has successfully coordinated the EU FP6 SECOQC IP, which demonstrated the first QKD mesh network with automated key management, is currently coordinating the H2020 projects PRISMACLOUD and CREDENTIAL, and participating in several other FP7 and H2020 projects.

Role in the project

AIT has a strong track record in the coordination and operational execution of EC-funded projects, and will build on this experience as leader of WP1 (“Project Management”). AIT will further lead WP6 where it is heavily involved in the system-level characterization of the developed quantum technology. The Optical Quantum Technologies group has a strong electrical engineering unit at its disposal, who is very experienced in designing RF and digital signal processing electronics, which will support the development of hardware in WP6. The group has a long-standing involvement in designing algorithms and software implementations for QKD post-processing tasks, on which WP6 is building. AIT will further be involved in top-level modelling and simulation activities in WP2, especially in relation to the low-cost DPS transmitter, its implementation in WP3, the development of the CV receiver in WP3, the EPR source development in WP4 and WP5, and the experimental evaluation activities in lab and field in WP7. Being part of many network and system demonstrations for QKD, such as Vienna 2008 and Tokyo 2010, AIT has a vast expertise in system design and network implementation. Electrical and software engineers together with quantum optics specialists develop turn-key systems with various stabilization mechanisms for long time operation.

Key personnel

Hannes Hübel
Project Coordinator