EAGLE-1 European QKD initiative welcomes ID Quantique
Quantum security solutions provider ID Quantique (IDQ)is participating in the EAGLE-1 initiative, a quantum key distribution (QKD) system integrating space and ground segments to deliver secure transmission of encryption keys across geographically dispersed areas and demonstrate the connection from space of EU's national quantum communications infrastructures for truly sovereign networks.
The EAGLE-1 initiative was developed by a consortium of 20 European organisations led by satellite firm, SES and part-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission.
IDQ will contribute to the development of a space-qualified cryptographic key generation system based on its quantum random number generator (QRNG) technology to consortium member TESAT, a European laser communications technology company.
The high-performance electronic board integrated into the EAGLE-1 QKD payload will generate random key material, which will be further transmitted by the satellite to the ground stations. The technology integrated into the satellite system will include built-in redundancy and is specifically designed to be associated with the satellite communications and data transmission for such areas as government, telco operators, cloud providers and banking.
TESAT will manufacture the QKD payload comprising the Scalable Optical Terminal SCOT80 to establish a secure optical link from space to ground, as well as the QKD module of the satellite.
Grégoire Ribordy, CEO of ID Quantique says: "Ensuring that communications remain safe is increasingly vital, and even more so with the rapidly-emerging technology of quantum computing. We are delighted to join this project, by providing our QRNG chipsets and space-qualified electronics that will enable the security of the QKD satellite, and allow the EU Member States to leverage the most innovative technology for development of secure and sovereign networks."
Thomas Reinartz, CEO of TESAT adds: "We are delighted to bring our expertise in integrating secure technologies, and a track record of almost 80,000 executed optical satellite links for the benefit of this highly-important and timely European project. The EAGLE-1 system allows for achieving synergies together with leading industry partners, reducing time to service and to market for the quantum secure technologies and its future key users, such as governments and institutions, or the banking sector. Together with ID Quantique, we are looking forward to strengthening European collaboration and contributing to European sovereignty in space."