IQC researcher awarded CSA grant to demonstrate quantum communications technologies aboard student space mission

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has awarded Thomas Jennewein an $182,000 grant to train and develop Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) graduate students through participation in an international space satellite project.

Quantum satellite
Under CSA’s Flights and Fieldwork for the Advancement of Science and Technology (FAST) program, IQC students will develop a payload to demonstrate technologies for quantum communications networks that will be launched aboard a CubeSat mission led by an international academic partner. CubeSats are very inexpensive miniature satellites that typically weigh less than 5 kg and are ideal platforms for student experiments.

“We are excited by this opportunity to provide IQC graduate students with an opportunity to participate in a CubeSat mission,” said Jennewein, a faculty member with IQC and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo. “IQC’s payload will test methods for mitigating space radiation damage to single photon avalanche detectors.”

The CSA’s FAST program supports university research investigations that offer hands-on space project experience to graduate students and young researchers. Its primary objective is to attract and train Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) to build capacity and enable Canada’s future competitiveness and productivity in the space sector.