SpeQtral announces SpeQtral-1 quantum satellite mission for ultra-secure communications
(SpaceRef) SpeQtral has announced the official kickoff of its forthcoming Quantum Key Distribution (“QKD”) satellite mission in space, SpeQtral-1.
The SpeQtral-1 satellite is expected to be launched in 2024, and is primed to be one of the first few QKD satellite missions to be launched by a commercial entity. It will demonstrate the technological feasibility of intercontinental out-of-band symmetric key delivery with a focus on addressing practical commercial requirements of end users. In this commercial pilot phase, entities interested in securing their data communications with QKD would be able to use SpeQtral-1 to receive quantum keys.
SpeQtral’s QKD technology solution is a crucial element in building global quantum-secure communication networks. QKD uses quantum physics, as opposed to current mathematically-based encryption technologies, to distribute symmetric encryption keys that can be used to secure communication networks. SpeQtral’s QKD platform enables the creation and distribution of computationally uncrackable encryption keys, by leveraging the laws of physics instead of mathematical algorithms.
The satellite mission is supported by Singapore’s national space office, the Office for Space Technology and Industry (“OSTIn”) under its Space Technology Development Programme (“STDP”). Together with the recent financing round led by Xora Innovation, this private-public partnership will accelerate the development and realization of space-based quantum communications. “The development and launch of the SpeQtral-1 satellite will be an important milestone that marks the commercialization of QKD capabilities that have been built up through Singapore’s investments in quantum research. OSTIn is pleased to support this mission by SpeQtral, which is testament to the deep technical capabilities of our local space startups and the richness of our space ecosystem.”, said David Tan, Executive Director, OSTIn.
SpeQtral will work with local and international partners in executing the vision to realise global QKD. The Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore, which SpeQtral has spun out from, will be a collaborator on this mission. The SpeQtral-1 satellite will also be an important part of the prospective End-to-End International Use cases for Operational QKD Commercial Applications and Services (“INT-UQKD”) programme supported by the European Space Agency (“ESA”). This programme includes the participation of a consortium of European entities in establishing a Singapore-Europe QKD link.
Chune Yang Lum, Co-founder and CEO of SpeQtral, said “We are thrilled to have the full support of OSTIn in executing the SpeQtral-1 mission, and share a common vision that space-based quantum communications will be a game-changing strategic technology in communications security. With the SpeQtral-1 satellite mission planning and development in full gear, we are poised to accelerate our engagements with international partners and end-users in securing global data communication networks.”