Evaluation of Rare-Earth Quantum Communication Technology for Space-Based Applications


Project Leader: Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, ANU

Participants: Australian National University (ANU)

The quantum internet, by providing the underlying communication infrastructure
required for many quantum information applications, is of high strategic
importance. As a result, countries such as China, the United States and
members of the European Union are investing heavily in both terrestrial and
space-based quantum communication networks. The prototype systems
currently being deployed lack the essential hardware required to “regenerate”
and route quantum information across a network. The technology being
developed at the ANU is a leading contender to form the basis of this quantum
networking hardware.

The ANU technology is based on quantum memories using rare-earth doped
crystals. The focus to date has been to develop the technology for terrestrial
applications. This project will evaluate key issues in operating rare-earth
quantum technology on a satellite platform and gauge its suitability for potential
future space missions. The work will be conducted in collaboration with
researchers at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.