Quantum communication satellite was in news in the last week of May 2016 as China planned to launch its first experimental satellite in July 2016 according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
With this, China will become the first country in the world to send encoded information from space that cannot be intercepted.
The project will bring revolutionary changes in communications. It includes launch of a satellite and building of four ground stations for quantum communication and one space quantum teleportation experiment station.
Keys aspects of the Satellite Project
• China plans to use its quantum satellite system to cover the planet by 2030.
• It is also building its own quantum information sharing network for use in national defense and security on the ground network.
• It will also help to establish quantum optical links simultaneously with two ground bases which are thousands of kilometres away.
• It took five years for Chinese scientists to develop and manufacture the first quantum satellite.
• It will be launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in southwest China after final preparation.
The launch of the quantum satellite is a part of Strategic Priority Program on Space Science which was initiated by China in 2011. The China had already launched their first Dark Matter Satellite, Wukong in 2015 and a Micro Gravity satellite SJ-10 in April 2016. Additionally, a hard X-ray telescope will be sent to space to study neutron stars and black holes in the latter half of 2016.
What is Quantum Communication?
• Quantum communication boasts ultra-high security as a quantum photon cannot be separated or duplicated.
• If anyone tries to decode the information then the encryption would change so that the receiver can know that his information was opened by someone.
• U.S. physicist David Wineland and Serge Haroche of France were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for finding ways to measure quantum particles without destroying them.
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