Quantum satellite one step closer to space flight

Thursday, May 22, 2014

IQC researchers, led by Thomas Jennewein, have been awarded $250,000 by the Canadian Space Agency to train and develop Canadian grad students through a space science and technology project.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) funding will support Thomas Jennewein (Physics and Astronomy) and his QEYSSat team in conducting a demonstration of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) between a receiver payload on an airborne platform and a transmitter on the ground.

Previous experiments by other researchers have shown that by placing a transmitter on a tethered low-altitude balloon they could downlink QKD. With a new innovative approach, Jennewein's team will demonstrate uplink QKD with the receiver flying to establish QKD up to a moving airborne platform. This project takes Jennewein's team one step closer to demonstrating space-based QKD as part of the proposed QEYSSat microsatellite mission.

Thomas Jennewein on the roof of RAC1 with his students
 
The IQC project was one of 10 CSA funded projects announced this week. The CSA awards help give graduate students hands-on experience in designing, building and testing flying scientific technologies with the goal of keeping Canada at the forefront of space research.

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