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Quantum Cryptography Telecommunication System


Quantum Cryptography Telecommunication System

A consortium led by satellite operator SES sees leading European research and business organisations jointly develop the Quantum Cryptography Telecommunication System (QUARTZ). The development of QUARTZ is supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) under a recently announced agreement with SES. In the project framework, SES and partners will define, design and develop a satellite-based Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) system and service architecture, which will include the future service and the core technologies, as well as ground end-to-end testing.

The consortium members include:
- AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
- German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Communications and Navigation
- ID Quantique
- itrust consulting
- Ludwig-Maximilians-University
- LuxTrust
- Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
- Palacky University
- Tesat-Spacecom

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a method for secret key agreement based on optical communication with quantum signals. It is fundamentally different from classical cryptography and is currently the only known method that will be provably secure against attacks from future quantum computers. Satellite-based QKD can overcome the distance limitations of several hundred kilometres still present in fibre based QKD systems.

"This revolutionary technology will enable highly secure communication links on a global scale in the next decade. If you consider how much effort is internationally put into quantum computing these days and the recent progress made you should start preparing yourself against attacks with future quantum computers now", says Dr. Christoph Pacher, quantum cryptography expert at consortium member AIT.



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