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Illustration of INT-UQKD Concept
Today, we are proud to announce that SpeQtral is part of an exciting multinational programme to develop and demonstrate end-to-end Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) that would secure operational business communications against the imminent quantum cybersecurity threat. QKD uses quantum physics, as opposed to current mathematically-based encryption technologies, to distribute symmetric encryption keys. These quantum keys will therefore be able to keep communication networks secure even when Cryptographically Relevant Quantum Computers (CRQCs) become available in the future.
Supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), this 3-year programme – End-to-End International Use Cases for Operational QKD Applications and Services (INT-UQKD) – will use hybrid space and terrestrial fibre networks to field a testbed capability, deploying pilot use case demonstrations between sites in Luxembourg, Belgium, Singapore, Canada and the UK. With the rollout of fibre-based metropolitan QKD networks in many cities across the world today, the space-based QKD links offered by SpeQtral are the crucial extension that will see QKD traverse long-distances to create truly global quantum secure communication networks of the future. This is because in the absence of practical quantum repeaters, point-to-point fibre-based QKD links are often limited to a distance of several hundred kilometres. In contrast, free-space QKD relying on, for instance, satellite-to-ground links can potentially offer secure key exchange over thousands of kilometres.
Facilitated by the Office for Space Technology & Industry (OSTIn), SpeQtral is thrilled to be able to participate in this next-gen cybersecurity project with a consortium of forward-looking industry partners in Europe. As illustrated in Figure 1, the space-based QKD links in this programme will be enabled by SpeQtral’s QKD satellites that will allow partners and end-users to validate the use of QKD for international use cases as well as lay the foundation for a commercial service rollout.
Stay tuned for more updates as SpeQtral works with our partners to make global quantum secure communication a reality!
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