In the super conductivity lab, Thales engineers are researching the development of a quantum antenna that is smaller than a finger tip. Using the quantum phenomena known as the Josephson effect, the antenna will be sensitive to the magnetic field component of radio waves and that allows the design to be much smaller. In contrast, classic antennas need to be larger, because they function based on fielding the electric field of a radio wave and need to have an aperture size capable of dealing with the larger size of the wave length.
Thales researchers leading quantum antenna development noted that the design they’re developing is currently only capable of receiving, but not transmitting signals.
Moving forward, Thales will look also to lead development of the space segment for the quantum communication network that Europe is seeking to establish as part of the OpenQKD project.