SpeQtral chooses NanoAvionics for satellite bus for upcoming mission

Aug. 25, 2023
SpeQtral-1 will serve as a pathfinder commercial demonstrator for future quantum key distribution services.

SINGAPORE - SpeQtral, a quantum communication technology company based in Singapore, needed a satellite bus provider for its upcoming SpeQtral-1 mission. They found their solution from Kongsberg NanoAvionics in Vilnius, Lithuania. as the . In addition, Mbryonics in Galway, Ireland was selected to produce the satellite’s optical terminal.

Utilizing NanoAvionics as a leading smallsat bus manufacturer and mission integrator and Mbryonics’s optical terminal hardware, SpeQtral-1 will serve as a pathfinder commercial demonstrator, defining future quantum key distribution (QKD) services.

SpeQtral-1 is aimed at providing communications services that require quantum security, as traditional cryptographic techniques are threatened by the emergence of quantum computing. The nanosatellite is based on NanoAvionics’s high-performance and multi-purpose M16P bus, which has been flight proven during multiple Earth observation missions. The satellite’s quantum-optical terminal by Mbryonics will transmit QKD photons from the satellite’s hardware down to optical ground stations.

The mission is also slated to be used alongside SpeQtre as the space segment for the ESA INT-UQKD program, which will explore international use cases for operational QKD applications and services.

SpeQtral-1 will be SpeQtral’s second QKD satellite, following the SpeQtre technology demonstrator mission, itself built on technologies demonstrated on the 2019 SpooQy-1 CubeSat.

Rob Bedington, CTO of SpeQtral, said: "We are thrilled that NanoAvionics and Mbryonics have taken up the challenge of collaborating on this groundbreaking, state-of-the-art mission. Making a laser comms mission is no easy feat, and integrating QKD takes the challenge to a whole new level. Our partners expertise and capabilities tesselate perfectly with our own and our vision of quantum-safe keys delivered by CubeSats. We look forwards to building the future of global secure connectivity together.”

Co-Founder and CEO, Lum Chune Yang, said: “The SpeQtral-1 mission offers promising business prospects, enabling SpeQtral-delivered QKD services and serving as a reference for future QKD satellite products. The quantum-optical terminal, a joint effort of SpeQtral and Mbryonics, presents a compact QKD and laser communications transmitter product ready for integration into satellites of all sizes. This will pave the way for organizations or sovereign nations with quantum security requirements to incorporate this cutting-edge product into their bespoke satellite missions."

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!