Satellite-to-ground network quantum communication

Short Description

Quantum communication holds the potential for a technological leap. Quantum bit communication is an essential ingredient in a wide range of emerging technologies, from quantum computation and simulation to secure communication based on quantum key distribution (QKD).

The inherent security of QKD is of major interest for any modern society, and QKD technologies have opened up a long-term growth market. For the first time in the history of cryptography, a provably and inherently secure way to establish a confidential key between distant partners exists, something that had not been possible by using classical means only

In the proposed work, we extend the existing concept of a point-to-point QKD technology to a network structure, including satellite compatible free-space links and a ground-based infrastructure based on fibers. The proposed project will integrate the required ground-based infrastructure with the space-based infrastructure and make it accessible to future customers.

The range of the technology will be increased from current metropolitan area fiber systems to a full-fledged global scale network, something which can only be achieved by using satellite technology. In this way, we will demonstrate the feasibility of a quantum communication technology that is accessible for society in its entirety.

This next logical step in the technology development can only be achieved with the support of the FFG-ASAP programme. The results will serve as the basis for a space-based science experiment as part of a future ESA programme.

Project Partners


Austrian Academy of Sciences

Contact Address

Austrian Academy of Sciences
Dr. Rupert Ursin
Boltzmanngasse 3
A-1090 Vienna