(InterestingEngineering.com) Scientists have–for the first time–achieved communication between two different satellites, an essential development in establishing a global quantum network. A team of researchers in Italy are sharing the results of a landmark study which tested the feasibility of conducting quantum communications between a ground station and two high-orbiting global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). The study involved the Space Geodesy Centre of the Italian Space Agency and the Russian GLONASS constellation.
Dr. Giuseppe Vallone, University of Padova Department of Information Engineering Assistant Professor and study co-lead author explained that the construction of a global quantum network will dramatically impact every sector of society, “Satellite-based technologies enable a wide range of civil, scientific and military applications like communications, navigation and timing, remote sensing, meteorology, reconnaissance, search and rescue, space exploration and astronomy.” The core of these systems is to safely transmit information and data from orbiting satellites to ground stations on Earth. Protection of these channels from a malicious adversary is therefore crucial for both military and civilian operations.