Craft Prospect Limited has announced a £345,000 award under UK Space Agency National Space Innovation Programme for development of a novel quantum laser payload. The Responsive Operations for Key Services (ROKS) mission will demonstrate technologies for future secure telecommunication systems using Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and supported by artificial intelligence. This phase of work will progress the flight payload and ground test systems before a final build to demonstrate in-orbit by 2022.
To date the work has developed the mission concept, proved the technology basis for highly miniaturized space-ready quantum systems and AI toolbox, and secured opportunities with multinational finance, telecommunication and data providers for cybersecurity. The consortium harnesses Glasgow and UK-wide technology and skills at University of Strathclyde, University of Bristol, and Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP) Glasgow.
Steve Greenland, Managing Director of Craft Prospect Ltd said of the news: “Craft Prospect is excited to be working with world class partners in UK quantum technology and optics to progress our ROKS mission, accessing major market opportunities in space autonomy and cybersecurity. Support from the UK Space Agency underpinned by the Scottish Investment Bank is accelerating our Smart Secure Space roadmap to demonstrate how emerging quantum technologies and artificial intelligence will impact the space sector in the coming years.”
Of the National Space Innovation Programme, Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “We want the UK to be a world leader in space technology which is why we are supporting our most ambitious innovators who are developing first of a kind technologies to help solve some of our greatest challenges.
“From slashing carbon emissions to protecting the UK’s critical services from harmful cyber-attacks, today’s funding will unshackle our most entrepreneurial space scientists so that they can transfer their revolutionary ideas into world class products and services, while helping to boost the UK economy.”
The funding comes from the UK Space Agency’s National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP), which is the first UK fund dedicated to supporting the space sector’s development of innovations, allowing us to compete internationally on the world stage with other countries, like France and Germany, which have dedicated national funding for space.