Jump to content

Quantum Cryptography Telecommunication System

Communication network around Earth, worldwide international connections, finance, internet, IoT

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a method for secret key agreement based on optical communication with quantum signals. Satellite-based QKD can overcome the distance limitations of several hundred kilometres still present in fibre based QKD systems.

Over the coming three years the AIT experts of the optical quantum technologies research group will create next generation software to enable the distribution of secure keys between optical ground stations on earth that will all be connected by quantum links with a quantum enabled satellite. This will achieve a reliable, globally available cybersecurity system and deliver next-generation encryption keys to networks in geographically dispersed areas, thus leveraging the unique advantages of satellites, including global reach and unlimited coverage.

The QUARTZ consortium will define, design and develop a satellite-based Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) system and service architecture, which will include the future service and the core technologies, as well as ground end-to-end testing. The development of QUARTZ is supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) under a recently announced agreement with SES.


  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • ID Quantique
  • itrust consulting
  • Ludwig-Maximilian University
  • LuxTrust
  • Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light
  • Palacky University
  • SES (Coordinator)
  • Tesat-Spacecom
  • TNO