Advances in space quantum communications

Sidhu, Jasminder S. and Joshi, Siddarth K. and Gündoğan, Mustafa and Brougham, Thomas and Lowndes, David and Mazzarella, Luca and Krutzik, Markus and Mohapatra, Sonali and Dequal, Daniele and Vallone, Giuseppe and Villoresi, Paolo and Ling, Alexander and Jennewein, Thomas and Mohageg, Makan and Rarity, John G. and Fuentes, Ivette and Pirandola, Stefano and Oi, Daniel K. L. (2021) Advances in space quantum communications. IET Quantum Communication. ISSN 2632-8925

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    Concerted efforts are underway to establish an infrastructure for a global quantum internet to realise a spectrum of quantum technologies. This will enable more precise sensors, secure communications, and faster data processing. Quantum communications are a front-runner with quantum networks already implemented in several metropolitan areas. A number of recent proposals have modelled the use of space segments to overcome range limitations of purely terrestrial networks. Rapid progress in the design of quantum devices have enabled their deployment in space for in-orbit demonstrations. We review developments in this emerging area of space-based quantum technologies and provide a roadmap of key milestones towards a complete, global quantum networked landscape. Small satellites hold increasing promise to provide a cost effective coverage required to realised the quantum internet. We review the state of art in small satellite missions and collate the most current in-field demonstrations of quantum cryptography. We summarise important challenges in space quantum technologies that must be overcome and recent efforts to mitigate their effects. A perspective on future developments that would improve the performance of space quantum communications is included. We conclude with a discussion on fundamental physics experiments that could take advantage of a global, space-based quantum network.

    ORCID iDs

    Sidhu, Jasminder S. ORCID logoORCID:, Joshi, Siddarth K., Gündoğan, Mustafa, Brougham, Thomas, Lowndes, David, Mazzarella, Luca, Krutzik, Markus, Mohapatra, Sonali, Dequal, Daniele, Vallone, Giuseppe, Villoresi, Paolo, Ling, Alexander, Jennewein, Thomas, Mohageg, Makan, Rarity, John G., Fuentes, Ivette, Pirandola, Stefano and Oi, Daniel K. L. ORCID logoORCID:;