LightPath and QuantLR will join forces to develop a ground-to-satellite, ground-to-air, ground-to-ground, and satellite-to-satellite free space optical communication channels, which will be used for a generation of quantum encryption keys, enabling secure quantum communication (QKD). It is intended that this project can then be further developed for use in high-rate data transmission, optical communication both between satellite and ground station, as well as satellite-to-satellite communications.
Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is the only proven technology that provides the ultimate level of security for data in transit, including security against any attack or eavesdropping attempts by contemporary, future, classical or quantum-based computers. Another threat that is secured by QKD is a "hack now- decrypt later" attack where the attacker collects the data now and decrypts in a later stage. This puts a sense of urgency in the implementation of QKD.
Yanir Farber, Co-Founder and COO of QuantLR, said, "We are excited to partner with LightPath for the development of this crucial technology. We believe the system will leverage our existing fiber optic quantum technology and demonstrate the ability to distribute quantum encryption keys by air, in a method that can later be used for low earth orbiting (LOE) satellites, aircrafts and point to point contacts on the ground."
Sam Rubin, CEO of LightPath commented, "Quantum communication is set to become an integral component of secure communications and part of the global drive towards the use of quantum computing. The technology LightPath is developing for this effort will also be further applied to infrared imaging, enabling new capabilities in airborn infrared imaging, which aligns well with LightPath's strategic direction."
The partnership stems from a joint program between Space Florida and the Israeli Innovation Authority. The joint program was started in 2013 and established a recurring joint fund to support research, development, and commercialization of aerospace and technology projects that benefit both Israel and Florida. QuantLR and LightPath submitted their proposal by providing the world's lowest-cost secure Quantum Cryptography solution.