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Satnews Daily
June 12th, 2018

SES' 10 New Consortium Project Partners Make QUARTZ Crystal Clear for Satellite Cybersecurity  

A diverse group of 10 project partners have joined to become an SES-led consortium to oversee European research and business organizations to jointly develop the next generation satellite-based cybersecurity system, the Quantum Cryptography Telecommunication System (QUARTZ). 

The development of QUARTZ is supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) under a recently announced agreement with SES. In the project framework, SES and partners will define, design and develop a satellite-based Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) system and service architecture, which will include the future service and the core technologies, as well as ground end-to-end testing. QUARTZ applications will address the needs of users such as telecommunication operators, financial organizations, infrastructure providers, institutions and governmental organizations. 

The new members of the consortium will develop a system that will generate encryption keys in space, and securely transmit those keys to users on Earth via laser.

Members include: 

QUARTZ consortium representatives. Photo credit: ESA.
  •  AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH 
  •  German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Communications and Navigation 
  •  ID Quantique 
  •  itrust consulting 
  •  Ludwig-Maximilians-University 
  •  LuxTrust 
  •  Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light 
  •  Palacky University 
  •  Tesat-Spacecom 
  •  TNO 


In order to achieve delivery of a reliable, globally available cybersecurity system and deliver next-generation encryption keys to networks in geographically dispersed areas, the new platform will leverage the unique advantages of satellite, including global reach and unlimited coverage.