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US, Allies to Jointly Develop Satellite-Based Quantum Encryption Network

Quantum information


US, Allies to Jointly Develop Satellite-Based Quantum Encryption Network

The United States and several allied nations are developing a satellite-based quantum encryption network based on existing private-sector technology.

The Federated Quantum System is expected to enable secure communications among the militaries of the United States, Japan, Canada, Italy, Belgium, Austria and the United Kingdom, SpaceNews reported.

FQS will be based on the commercial encryption network being developed by Arqit. The company’s design is focused on fending off cybersecurity attacks using emerging quantum technology.

Some of the companies involved are the United Kingdom’s BT Group, United States’ Northrop Grumman, Japan’s Sumitomo, Italy’s Leonardo and Austria’s QTL. The Canadian and Belgian subsidiaries of Honeywell and Qinetiq are also part of the effort.

The participating governments and their commercial partners will finance the $70 million needed for the project. They may also pay $250 million for a dedicated version of the network.

Arqit is working with launch services provider Virgin Orbit to fly the first batch of FQS satellites in 2023 from the United Kingdom.

Quantum computing is an emerging technology field that the United States has been looking to leverage for applications such as energy efficiency and cybersecurity.

In December 2020, the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency announced that it was researching encryption capabilities that could protect defense communications from quantum computers.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced $30 million in funding for five Nanoscale Science Research Centers.

DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the funding would make quantum information science research more available to the scientific community.

Category: Space