SES Telecommunications, a multi-continental leader in satellite technology is developing an orbital array of satellites for the transmission of quantum encrypted keys to Earth through focused laser beams. All in an attempt to defend against malevolent hacking from next generation quantum computers.
Quantum computation is expected to increase extant processing power and information storage capability by several orders of magnitude – an extreme leap in comparison to ordinary analog computers. There is worry among officials that this could lead to the hacking of analog security systems by quantum capable foreign governments and/or malevolent corporations.
Luxembourg based SES telecommunications – includes ten organizations from 5 different continents around the world. They want to create a satellite based cybersecurity system strewn throughout geocentric orbit. So as to produce and exchange quantum encrypted keys among this orbital network and/or subsequently broadcast them to various locations on Earth using directed laser beam technology.
The main idea being to avoid storage on conventional hard drives which are more vulnerable to the immense processing power of a quantum capable device.
This system would eventually be commonplace among all the big players here on planet Earth. Obviously any organization where information security is a concern – including telecommunication operators, financial organizations, infrastructure providers, institutions and potentially governmental organizations.
The European Space Agency is already using Earth to commercial satellite and satellite to satellite based laser beam technology developed by “Scylight” as part of their ARTES project. Furthermore, the Max Planck institute has proven that encrypted quantum keys can be transmitted via this method. So the use of this new found confidence in developing satellite to Earth based laser transmission of encrypted quantum keys in order to protect against the future threat of quantum hacking will represent a novel achievement in the telecommunications industry.
The ten groups involved in this ambitious project include
The Austrian Institute of Technology, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Communications and Navigation, Austrian quantum component supplier ID Quantique, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, the Czech Palacky University and Dutch research house TNO. It also includes LuxTrust, itrust consulting and Tesat-Spacecom.
On another note entirely it would seem that the landlocked country of Luxembourg is particularly deadset on everything space worthy. For example, they are also involved in funding asteroid mining companies planetary resources and deep space industries. It certainly makes sense when you consider their geographic limitations that a well funded landlocked country would want to expand their influence in to the outer space economy.