China To Launch World's First Quantum Communication Satellite, Will Change Face Of Cryptography

First Posted: May 31, 2016 04:30 AM EDT

China will launch its first experimental quantum communication satellite in July this year, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The launch will reportedly be the first quantum communication via a satellite on our planet.  

An exceedingly high level of security is associated with quantum communications as it can neither be replicated nor separated. In addition, quantum mechanics is a complex process that renders it impossible to reverse engineer the quantum key, which has been created through quantum entanglement. Therefore, information transmitted over such a type of communication cannot be cracked, intercepted or wiretapped.

The quantum satellite took a span of five years to be developed and manufactured by China. The satellite will be taken to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in June. The CAS project includes the launch of the quantum satellite and the construction of four ground based stations to facilitate communication. Apart from this, a space quantum teleportation experiment station is also part of the plan according to a report. Once the satellite has been launched, it will be able initiate quantum optical links with two ground bases, located thousands of kilometers away from each other, simultaneously.  

Incidentally, China is the first nation to put forward a comprehensive plan and timeline on the operation and application of quantum technology, after the field of quantum physics saw breakthrough developments in the past five years. China's recent project can make the country a leader in quantum communications globally.

The launch of a quantum communications also has major implications for the field of cryptography as per a report. Communications security is a major concern today, in the wake of global electronic surveillance and cyber attacks, and nations worldwide are looking for ways to protect their communication systems. The launch of a quantum satellite by China may show the path to a fool proof communications system that cannot be cracked, by transforming messages into quantum.

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