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

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.


Project Leader:
Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, The Australian National University