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Archangel Lightworks Collaborates with SpeQtral to Develop Quantum-Enabled Optical Ground Station

The rapid advancements in Quantum Computing technologies poses security concerns for traditional communication encryption technologies. Quantum Key Distribution and Laser Communication present a solution for secure communication architectures.

Laser Communication is used for transmitting data at high speed, such as backbone interconnects or downlinking large datasets. Quantum Key Distribution is a method for sharing encryption keys, for example to allow for secure communication links between satellites and optical ground station (OGS sites).

However, all free space optical communication systems are significantly limited by the weather, namely cloud coverage. To be viable, the size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) of these systems must be reduced below the current state of the art to allow them to be widely proliferated, enabling ground diversity to overcome these atmospheric limitations.

UK-based Archangel Lightworks is driving down the SWaP-C of optical ground stations to make lasercom affordable and available. Singapore-based SpeQtral designs and manufactures satellite-based quantum communication systems and provides end-to-end distribution of quantum encryption keys. While the data used in the two methods are quite different, the technology and customers are often similar, for example datacentres, telcos and governments.

SpeQtral's Quantum Key Distribution Technology

Together, Archangel Lightworks and SpeQtral are collaborating on the Quantum Lasercomms Optical Ground Stations (QLOGS) project to explore this overlap both in terms of the use cases as well as the technical developments required to fulfil them. The QLOGS project is supported by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, and Enterprise Singapore.

Archangel Lightworks' Deployable Optical Ground Station, TERRA-M

Owain Pryce-Jones, Chief Technology Officer at Archangel Lightworks, said, “Adding QKD capability to our deployable optical ground stations is a great step towards building the inherently secure, quantum-safe communication networks of the future.”

Lum Chune Yang, Co-Founder and CEO at SpeQtral, said, “The partnership with Archangel Lightworks will offer the opportunity for both SpeQtral and Archangel Lightworks to innovate and develop new technologies, especially with the strong support from our respective governments.”

About Archangel Lightworks

Archangel Lightworks is building mobile, lightweight optical communications to provide high-volume, secure space-enabled networks of the future. Today, space and terrestrial networks are not well-connected leading to insecure, insufficient, and vulnerable infrastructure. Nearly 3 billion people are unconnected and many more are under-connected. We are driving down the size, weight, power & cost (SWaP-C) of optical ground equipment to make resilient space-ground lasercom available and affordable. Our core product, Terra-M is a portable, miniature optical ground station. Compared to traditional networks, Terra-M allows more licence-free data transferred at low probability of detection and interception. Terra-M brings deployable, resilient connectivity to wherever it is needed solving some of Earth’s most critical problems from economic inclusion to climate change.

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About SpeQtral

SpeQtral is a pioneer in quantum communications, with a vision to build and deploy global quantum networks. SpeQtral develops quantum-secure products and services designed to protect sovereign and enterprise telecommunication networks against classical, as well as future quantum based cyber-attacks. Combining both terrestrial and space-based solutions, SpeQtral aims to secure the world’s networks against the threats posed by the imminent quantum revolution and drive innovation in quantum communications that will serve as the building blocks for the future quantum internet.

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About Innovate UK

Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. We connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth. We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Our support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions. Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation.

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