Confirmed: 2.6 kg Nanosatellite SpooQy-1 Entangling Photons in Orbit
SpooQy-1 shows promise of nanosatellites for quantum networks
+ Headline-grabbing experiments by China’s satellite Micius have shown that quantum signals can reach Earth from satellites with their spooky and useful properties intact, pointing the way to building a global quantum internet. An international team led by researchers at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT), National University of Singapore have now shown that nanosatellites might do the job, saving cost compared to using larger satellites.
Data from the 2.6kg satellite, in orbit 400 km above the Earth, confirm that it creates entangled quantum signals in a compact instrument onboard.
+ Both SpooQy-1 and Micius carry quantum sources that create pairs of entangled light particles, called photons. Today’s internet already uses photons to carry data through optical fibres. The challenge in building a quantum internet is that optical losses in fibre limit quantum signals to distances of a few tens of kilometres. Satellites could reach further.
+ “We are seeing a surge of interest in building quantum networks around the world. Satellites are a solution to making long range networks, creating connections across country borders and between continents,” said Alexander Ling, Principal Investigator at CQT and an Associate Professor in the NUS Department of Physics. He leads CQT’s satellite programme.
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