10 September 2016
ON Aug 16, China launched the world’s first quantum communications experiment satellite into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert. The small satellite, recently named Micius after an ancient Chinese philosopher, is tasked to establish a hack-proof communication line – a quantum key distribution network – while performing a series of quantum entanglement experiments in space for the first time.
The quantum science satellite (QSS) programme is the third mission of the 2011 Strategic Priority Programme on Space Science that includes a series of satellite launches between last year and 2030 to explore black holes, dark matter and cosmic background radiation. Research on quantum technology is also a key priority, including in the 13th Five-Year Plan, China’s latest economic blueprint for research and development released in March. The QSS is sponsored and managed by the China Academy of Sciences (CAS), and led by chief scientist Pan Jianwei. Its mission payload was developed jointly by CAS’s Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics and the University of Science and Technology of China.
… The writer is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 13/09/2016