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SpeQtral and Thales to demonstrate satellite quantum communications

SpeQtral-1 satellite to transmit qubits to Thales Alenia Space's ground station in precursor demonstrations for quantum information networks.
SpeQtral’s CEO Lum Chune Yang and Thales Alenia Space’s CEO Hervé Derrey signed an MoU on the sidelines of IAC 2022 to demonstrate satellite Quantum Communications as a precursor for the development of Quantum Information Networks, witnessed by CNES’ COO Lionel Suchet and OSTIn’s Executive Director David Tan

Singapore-based SpeQtral, a provider of satellite quantum communication technology, and Thales Alenia Space have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to research, develop and demonstrate quantum communications from space to Earth.

Quantum information networks are currently being heavily researched and developed. The industry has seen rapid development of quantum computing and quantum sensing technologies. In order to realise the full potential of such technologies, there will be a need to transfer quantum information across distances of varying ranges. Using satellites to transfer quantum information is actively being pursued as one of the best methods to realise long-distance quantum communications.

As part of this MoU, joint experiments will be carried out, between the SpeQtral-1 quantum satellite – currently being developed – and a state-of-the-art quantum ground receiver currently being developed by Thales Alenia Space. The joint experiments are anticipated to be completed by 2025.

Primed to be one of the first few quantum satellite missions to be launched by a commercial entity, SpeQtral-1 is anticipated to be used to demonstrate the feasibility of long-distance transfer of quantum information, as well as interconnections between various metropolitan quantum networks which are currently being set up.

The collaboration, which will likely involve a consortium of other relevant French technology partners as well, provides a platform for both countries to collaborate and conduct joint experiments, leveraging on the respective counterparts’ strong technology heritage. This will enable all parties to innovate at the frontier of quantum information networks.

Commenting o the deal, Chune Yang Lum, Co-founder and CEO of SpeQtral, said: “This collaboration is an important demonstration of international interoperability of quantum communication assets, a step along the path leading to global quantum information networks. Thales Alenia Space’s optical ground systems promise very high performance and we very much look forward to working with them.”

Christophe VALORGE, CTO of Thales Alenia Space, added: “We are excited to be working with SpeQtral in these developments towards global quantum information networks. Together with SpeQtral, we have a great opportunity to experiment the quantum communications infrastructure of the future.”