With ESA, Thales wants to develop the quantum internet via satellite

Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between France’s Thales and Italy’s Leonardo, specializes in air spaceannounced on January 23, signing a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the management of the TeQuantS project. The latter aims to to develop communication technologies quantum between space and earth “. This agreement is part of the component 4.0 Core Competitiveness of the ESA ARTES program, intended for the development, verification and demonstration of technologies and products for the satellite telecommunications market. he is too supported by the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) and the Austrian Space Agency.

Pushing the boundaries of quantum thanks to satellites

Create the necessary equipment” cyber security applications and the future development of the Internet quantum network “. This is the ambitious goal of the TeQuantS project. According to communicate of society”, these technologies will enable Thales Alenia Space and its partners to produce satellites and optical ground stations by the end of 2026 “and” will help demonstrate the performance of long-distance quantum communication links via satellite Today, terrestrial optical fibers cannot transmit quantum information directly only about 150 kilometers. According to Thales Alenia Space, the best option to push the limits of transmission is to pass through the use of satellites.

From time to time, a consortium has been formed to provide Thales Alenia Space with all the necessary expertise for the smooth running of the project. This is composed of a large group (Airbus Defense and Space), seven SMEs and start-ups (ALPAO, AUREA Technology, BERTIN Technologies, MIRATLAS, OGS Technologies, QTlabs and SIGMAWORKS) and two laboratories (LIP6 – Sorbonne University and INPHYNI – Côte d’Azur University/CNRS).

Marc-Henri Serre, Executive Vice-President of Telecommunications Activities at Thales Alenia Space, said: We are pleased to collaborate with our partners to develop quantum technologies that will demonstrate the ability to create a long-distance quantum communication link via satellite with an operational objective and that will contribute to European sovereignty in this area “. He adds that it is one single project which addresses both future cyber security and quantum internet challenges “.

Serious cyber security challenges

For Thales Alenia Space, the TeQuantS project fulfills two main challenges. First of all, ” the need to make future quantum computers and quantum sensors communicate with each other to achieve their promise of exponential performance gains “. But above all, is the response to significant cyber security risks.

Through TeQuantS, the consortium seeks ” generating secure cryptographic keys “. To achieve this, he plans to use the quantum properties of light. According to them, ” this service will respond to quantum computing threats that tend to be able to decipher currently used cryptographic tools “. A fear confirmed by recent findings from a group of Chinese researchers who claimed in early January, managed to decode the RSA cipherthe most widely used cryptography algorithm on the Internet.

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