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.
Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, The Australian National University