If you are thinking that working on quantum satellite projects needs a lot of time on R&D, you are wrong. The latest news coming in from China suggests that a Chinese quantum satellite has been successful in its first ever mission. The first mission of the satellite as told by the Chinese Academy of Sciences was to successfully distribute entangled photons between three different terrestrial base stations, separated by as much as 1,200 kilometers on the ground.
To add to your amazement, the results were beyond the ‘amazing’ bar as it gave us the longest entanglement ever demonstrated. Also, the entanglement was recorded to be the first that spanned between the Earth and space. This brings us to some mind blowing results and one of them, as described by the researchers is:
it opens up a new avenue to both practical quantum communications and fundamental quantum optics experiments at distances previously inaccessible on the ground.
Though the success news came the other day, the team had to work hard for the big day to come. The satellite was launched back in August 2016 and it is now performing just the way it was meant to be. It actually uses a crystal to produce pairs of entangled photons in orbit. Then these photons are sent back to China base station through a proper transmission channel and the distance they have to cover up through space is around 2,400 km.
How Can Quantum Satellite Change Our Lives?
The major breakthrough by Chinese Quantum Satelite has opened up several opportunities for us and the benefits are absolute treat to hear from the scientists. Talking to a popular forum, The Verge, Gregoire Ribordy, the CEO of a reliable satellite link, ID Quantique says:
This proves the feasibility of quantum communications from space. The vision is that you have regional quantum key distribution networks over fiber, which can connect to each other through the satellite link.