Europe will launch a quantum encryption satellite for over-security communications

Europe will launch a quantum encryption satellite for over-security communications

Europe will launch a demonstration satellite for safe communication with quantum encryption in 2024, and they plan to build an even larger constellation of devices in space.

Eagle-1 will be the first space system for quantum key distribution.

Eagle-1 will spend three years in orbit testing the technology needed for a new generation of secure communications, and the satellite will show "the feasibility of quantum key distribution technology, which uses quantum mechanics to distribute encryption keys in such a way that any eavesdropping attempt is immediately detected on EU territory using a satellite system".

ESA signed a contract for Eagle 1 with the project leader of SES during the International Astronautical Congress in Paris at the end of September, and Luxembourg will lead a consortium of more than 20 European companies to develop Eagle-1.

Eagle-1 is a small satellite in low-Earth orbit, weighing only 350 kg. The Eagle-1 satellite platform will be provided by the Italian company SITAEL. It will carry a payload with a quantum key created by the German company Tesat Spacecom and will be operated by SES. The project will also involve companies from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

Although Eagle-1 will become the first European sovereign satellite of quantum encryption, China launched such a device earlier in 2016.