CubeSat quantum communications mission

Daniel KL Oi, Alex Ling, Giuseppe Vallone, Paolo Villoresi, Stephen Charles Greenland, Emma Kerr, Malcolm Macdonald, Harald Weinfurter, Hans Kuiper, Edoardo Charbon, Rupert Ursin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Quantum communication is a prime space technology application and offers near-term possibilities for long-distance quantum key distribution (QKD) and experimental tests of quantum entanglement. However, there exists considerable developmental risks and subsequent costs and time required to raise the technological readiness level of terrestrial quantum technologies and to adapt them for space operations. The small-space revolution is a promising route by which synergistic advances in miniaturization of both satellite systems and quantum technologies can be combined to leap-frog conventional space systems development. Here, we outline a recent proposal to perform orbit-to-ground transmission of entanglement and QKD using a CubeSat platform deployed from the International Space Station (ISS). This ambitious mission exploits advances in nanosatellite attitude determination and control systems (ADCS), miniaturised target acquisition and tracking sensors, compact and robust sources of single and entangled photons, and high-speed classical communications systems, all to be incorporated within a 10 kg 6 litre mass-volume envelope. The CubeSat Quantum Communications Mission (CQuCoM) would be a pathfinder for advanced nanosatellite payloads and operations, and would establish the basis for a constellation of low-Earth orbit trusted-nodes for QKD service provision.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalEPJ Quantum Technology
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • CubeSat
  • quantum
  • entanglement
  • cryptography
  • quantum key distribution
  • orbit-to-ground transmission
  • International Space Station
  • attitude determination and control systems
  • low-Earth orbit

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  • Profiles

    Projects

    Quantum Experiments in Space using CubeSats

    Oi, D.

    1/10/10 → …

    Project: Internally funded project

    Research Output

    Generation and analysis of correlated pairs of photons on board a nanosatellite

    Tang, Z., Chandrasekara, R., Tan, Y. C., Cheng, C., Sha, L., Hiang, G. C., Oi, D. K. L. & Ling, A., 31 May 2016, In : Physical Review Applied. 5, 5, 5 p., 054022.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
    35 Citations (Scopus)
    135 Downloads (Pure)

    Nanosatellite experiments to enable future space-based QKD missions

    Bedington, R., Bai, X., Truong-Cao, E., Tan, Y. C., Durak, K., Villar Zafra, A., Grieve, J. A., Oi, D. KL. & Ling, A., 18 Oct 2016, In : EPJ Quantum Technology. 3, 12.

    Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

    Open Access
    File
  • 16 Citations (Scopus)
    68 Downloads (Pure)

    Nanosatellites for quantum science and technology

    Oi, D. K. L., Ling, A., Grieve, J. A., Jennewein, T., Dinkelaker, A. N. & Krutzik, M., 4 Oct 2016, In : Contemporary Physics. p. 1-32 32 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 16 Citations (Scopus)
    158 Downloads (Pure)

    Cite this

    Oi, D. KL., Ling, A., Vallone, G., Villoresi, P., Greenland, S. C., Kerr, E., Macdonald, M., Weinfurter, H., Kuiper, H., Charbon, E., & Ursin, R. (2017). CubeSat quantum communications mission. EPJ Quantum Technology, 4, [6]. https://doi.org/10.1140/epjqt/s40507-017-0060-1