(Bloomberg) Chinese scientists have developed what they say is an “unhackable” form of global satellite communications that draws upon quantum physics to encrypt signals, and launched a satellite in 2016 to test the nascent technology.
Europe’s space industry will try to match Chinese advances in secure communications to gain an edge over satellite broadband networks including British-backed OneWeb.
“Evidently we must look at technologies that are different from those used by constellations being sent into orbit and which were conceived about a decade ago,” the head of France’s CNES space agency, Jean-Yves Le Gall, said at a recent press conference.
Le Gall said European governments are keen to gain a foothold in quantum technology to ensure the secure communications over the planned network, which would arrive relatively late in the game. The project spearheaded by EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton would aim to give Europe a homegrown capability in low-earth orbit.
Aerospace giant Airbus SE would lead a consortium to build the network alongside Thales Alenia Space, Germany’s OHB SE, satellite operators Eutelsat Communications SA and SES SA and space companies Telespazio and Arianespace,