Three years after its launch, the Chinese satellite nicknamed “Micius” has steadily been extending the reach of an encryption technology that is practically unbreakable. Chinese researchers proved it was possible for photons sharing quantum entanglement to convey data over 750km.
By June this year, that distance had increased to 1200km.
China is definitely leading in the quest to build long-distance networks that use quantum entanglement to improve security: a year after Micius went into orbit, a consortium of research institutes completed a fibre-based ground network that ran from Beijing to Shanghai across a distance of almost 2000km.
Swiss QKD pioneer ID Quantique (IDQ) is helping a different satellite project called QUARTZ which will have the satellites generate keys and beam them to Earth. Another QKD specialist, Australia-based QuintessenceLabs has used its experience of the technology to create more efficient random-number generators, as well as working space and defence agencies of Switzerland and Australia on their own experiments into space-borne QKD networks. (newelectronics)