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Thales Collaborates with EuroQCI on Quantum Information Network

Partnership aims to protect EU infrastructure against potential quantum computer attacks

John Potter

April 18, 2023

2 Min Read
An illustration of satellites beaming information to Earth from space.
Thales Alenia Space is leading the TeQuantS quantum space-to-Earth communication initiative. Thales Alenia Space

Thales has teamed up with 20 technology, academic and industry partners as part of the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) initiative. EuroQCI aims to deploy a quantum communication infrastructure for EU member states within three years. 

The initiative's long-term goal is to build a Quantum Information Network (QIN) that ensures communication security through quantum entanglement. In alignment with this objective, QIN is establishing networks of quantum sensors and processors to improve their performance.

In late 2022, Thales began participating in several new consortia to develop quantum technologies. These include:

  • Quantum repeaters. Led by the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the Quantum Internet Alliance (QIA) aims to prove the viability of connecting users residing in two metropolitan areas 500 km apart. The QIA is accomplishing this by employing quantum repeaters, which are capable of mitigating information loss through the use of quantum memory.

  • Quantum key distribution: Exail, a French-based tech company, is coordinating the QKISS (Quantum Key Industrial SystemS) project, while LuxQuanta, a European quantum cryptography startup, is leading the QUARTER (Quantum Cryptography Technology for Europe) consortium. Both initiatives focus on developing Quantum Key Distribution systems that safeguard users' critical communications against cyberattacks.

  • Certification of quantum communication: Deutsche Telekom is leading the PETRUS project, the designated coordinator of 32 EuroQCI projects on behalf of the European Commission. PETRUS also creates a framework for certifying and accrediting quantum communication products and networks.

  • Satellite quantum communications: Thales Alenia Space is leading the TeQuantS initiative, which has set its sights on creating quantum space-to-Earth communication technologies essential for cybersecurity applications and future quantum information networks. The project aims to achieve this by building satellites and optical ground stations by the end of 2026.

Related:Quantum at Mobile World Congress 2023

The Thales teams involved in these projects are developing equipment for quantum key generation, distribution, management and their respective communication encryption devices. In addition, they aim to fundamentally define the architecture of quantum communication infrastructures.

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