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Space Applications of Quantum Technology

Edited by: Rainer Kaltenbaek, Rupert Ursin and Markus Aspelmeyer

Space-based tests of fundamental physics have a long history, from early tests of general relativity to more recent missions such as gravity probe B and proposed missions to test the equivalence principle (STE-QUEST) and gravitational decoherence (MAQRO). These more recent proposals make extensive use of quantum technologies, from atomic clocks to weak force sensors. Deploying any technology into space pushes specifications to the limit and this will be especially true for quantum-enabled technologies. Recent advances in space technology as developed for experiments such as LISA and LISA Pathfinder have allowed researchers to optimally harness the space environment for quantum experiments.

This thematic series is dedicated to all aspects of space-based quantum technologies from fundamental physics to quantum communication protocols including proposals for new space-based quantum experiments as well as terrestrial experimental tests of new quantum technologies for space deployment.


  1. Content type: Research

    Satellites are the most efficient way to achieve global scale quantum communication (Q.Com) because unavoidable losses restrict fiber based Q.Com to a few hundred kilometers. We demonstrate the feasibility of ...

    Authors: Sebastian Philipp Neumann, Siddarth Koduru Joshi, Matthias Fink, Thomas Scheidl, Roland Blach, Carsten Scharlemann, Sameh Abouagaga, Daanish Bambery, Erik Kerstel, Mathieu Barthelemy and Rupert Ursin

    Citation: EPJ Quantum Technology 2018 5:4

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  2. Content type: Research

    Avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are a practical option for space-based quantum communications requiring single-photon detection. However, radiation damage to APDs significantly increases their dark count rates an...

    Authors: Jin Gyu Lim, Elena Anisimova, Brendon L Higgins, Jean-Philippe Bourgoin, Thomas Jennewein and Vadim Makarov

    Citation: EPJ Quantum Technology 2017 4:11

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  3. Content type: Research

    Single-photon detectors in space must retain useful performance characteristics despite being bombarded with sub-atomic particles. Mitigating the effects of this space radiation is vital to enabling new space ...

    Authors: Elena Anisimova, Brendon L Higgins, Jean-Philippe Bourgoin, Miles Cranmer, Eric Choi, Danya Hudson, Louis P Piche, Alan Scott, Vadim Makarov and Thomas Jennewein

    Citation: EPJ Quantum Technology 2017 4:10

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  4. Content type: Research

    We present the design of a compact absolute optical frequency reference for space applications based on hyperfine transitions in molecular iodine with a targeted fractional frequency instability of better than...

    Authors: Vladimir Schkolnik, Klaus Döringshoff, Franz Balthasar Gutsch, Markus Oswald, Thilo Schuldt, Claus Braxmaier, Matthias Lezius, Ronald Holzwarth, Christian Kürbis, Ahmad Bawamia, Markus Krutzik and Achim Peters

    Citation: EPJ Quantum Technology 2017 4:9

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  5. Content type: Research

    Quantum communication is a prime space technology application and offers near-term possibilities for long-distance quantum key distribution (QKD) and experimental tests of quantum entanglement. However, there ...

    Authors: Daniel KL Oi, Alex Ling, Giuseppe Vallone, Paolo Villoresi, Steve Greenland, Emma Kerr, Malcolm Macdonald, Harald Weinfurter, Hans Kuiper, Edoardo Charbon and Rupert Ursin

    Citation: EPJ Quantum Technology 2017 4:6

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  6. Content type: Research

    In this paper we propose an experiment designed to observe a general-relativistic effect on single photon interference. The experiment consists of a folded Mach-Zehnder interferometer, with the arms distribute...

    Authors: Sam Pallister, Simon Coop, Valerio Formichella, Nicolas Gampierakis, Virginia Notaro, Paul Knott, Rui Azevedo, Nikolaus Buchheim, Silvio de Carvalho, Emilia Järvelä, Matthieu Laporte, Jukka-Pekka Kaikkonen, Neda Meshksar, Timo Nikkanen and Madeleine Yttergren

    Citation: EPJ Quantum Technology 2017 4:2

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  7. Content type: Commentary

    We present a programme for establishing the space worthiness of highly-miniaturised, polarisation-entangled, photon pair sources using CubeSat nanosatellites. Once demonstrated, the photon pair sources can be ...

    Authors: Robert Bedington, Xueliang Bai, Edward Truong-Cao, Yue Chuan Tan, Kadir Durak, Aitor Villar Zafra, James A Grieve, Daniel KL Oi and Alexander Ling

    Citation: EPJ Quantum Technology 2016 3:12

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  8. Content type: Letter

    Quasiparticles in a Bose-Einstein condensate are sensitive to space-time distortions. Gravitational waves can induce transformations on the state of phonons that can be observed through quantum state discrimin...

    Authors: Carlos Sabín, Jan Kohlrus, David Edward Bruschi and Ivette Fuentes

    Citation: EPJ Quantum Technology 2016 3:8

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  9. Content type: Review

    Do the laws of quantum physics still hold for macroscopic objects - this is at the heart of Schrödinger’s cat paradox - or do gravitation or yet unknown effects set a limit for massive particles? What is the f...

    Authors: Rainer Kaltenbaek, Markus Aspelmeyer, Peter F Barker, Angelo Bassi, James Bateman, Kai Bongs, Sougato Bose, Claus Braxmaier, Časlav Brukner, Bruno Christophe, Michael Chwalla, Pierre-François Cohadon, Adrian Michael Cruise, Catalina Curceanu, Kishan Dholakia, Lajos Diósi…

    Citation: EPJ Quantum Technology 2016 3:5

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