Deploying quantum light sources on nanosatellites II : lessons and perspectives on CubeSat spacecraft

Bedington, R. and Truong-Cao, E. and Tan, Y. C. and Cheng, C. and Durak, K. and Grieve, J. and Ling, A. and Larsen, J. and Oi, D. (2015) Deploying quantum light sources on nanosatellites II : lessons and perspectives on CubeSat spacecraft. In: Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems. Proceedings of SPIE . SPIE, FRA. ISBN 9781628418583

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Abstract

To enable space-based quantum key distribution proposals the Centre for Quantum Technologies is developing a source of entangled photons ruggedized to survive deployment in space and greatly miniaturised so that it conforms to the strict form factor and power requirements of a 1U CubeSat. The Small Photon Entangling Quantum System is an integrated instrument where the pump, photon pair source and detectors are combined within a single optical tray and electronics package that is no larger than 10 cm x 10 cm x 3 cm. This footprint enables the instrument to be placed onboard nanosatellites or the CubeLab structure aboard the International Space Station. We will discuss the challenges and future prospects of CubeSat-based missions.