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SpeQtral selects Kongsberg NanoAvionics and Mbryonics

Credit: SpeQtral / NanoAvionics

Ibadan, 18 August 2023. – SpeQtral has chosen Kongsberg NanoAvionics (NanoAvionics) as the satellite bus provider for its upcoming SpeQtral-1 mission. Furthermore, the mission has a second partner in Mbryonics, producing the satellite’s optical terminal. Using the technical expertise of NanoAvionics as a smallsat bus manufacturer and mission integrator and Mbryonics’s optical terminal hardware, SpeQtral-1 aims to serve as a pathfinder commercial demonstrator, defining future quantum key distribution (QKD) services.

SpeQtral-1 aims to provide communications services requiring quantum security, as traditional cryptographic techniques get threats from the emergence of quantum computing. Likewise, the nanosatellite’s design is off NanoAvionics’s high-performance, flight-proven and multi-purpose M16P bus. The bus has flown multiple Earth observation missions across the Earth, building up flight heritage. The satellite’s quantum-optical terminal by Mbryonics will consequently transmit QKD photons from the satellite’s hardware down to optical ground stations.

Rob Bedington, CTO of SpeQtral, said: “We are glad that NanoAvionics and Mbryonics take up the challenge of collaborating on this groundbreaking, state-of-the-art mission. Making a laser comms mission is no easy feat, and integrating QKD takes the challenge to a new level!” The CTO also added, “Our partner’s expertise and capabilities tesselate perfectly with our vision of quantum-safe keys delivered by CubeSats. We look forward to building the future of global secure connectivity together.”

Likewise, Vytenis J. Buzas, CEO of NanoAvionics, added, “This collaboration with SpeQtral and Mbryonics signifies a critical step into the quantum era, promising revolutionary enhancements to secure communications. Using our experience in swiftly delivering in-orbit demonstration missions with our modular smallsat platforms, we’re ready to navigate the future of quantum communications.”

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