ArQit: The World’s first global quantum key distribution network.

Our online future is under threat.

The internet has changed so much of our human activity for the better. But its very existence is now threatened by quantum attack.

The emergence of quantum computing means that the encryption techniques used by the Internet will be hacked. There are a variety of solutions to this problem emerging. The ArQit system offers a significant contribution to keep the Internet safe.

By injecting quantum safe keys into the major peering points at the heart of the Internet, we can keep the control planes of the World’s network safe. Large corporations can keep their cloud applications safe. And one day, we will be able to get quantum keys to households and even mobile phones, through R&D we are conducting to create an interface between satellite and metro fibre networks.

The ArQit project brings together three powerful technology innovations:

Advances in small satellite technology means that it is now possible to launch and fly robust, fully-stabilised, secure satellite platform constellations in low earth orbit at low cost.

Advances in optical technology means that accurate and powerful instruments can be used in space and on ground to transmit and detect photons to the required level of accuracy.

Our innovation in creating quantum generation devices brings commercial communications into the quantum realm for the first time.

The Encryption Process for Beginners

There are 2 elements to the encryption process: The algorithm (lock box) and the key

Alice puts her data in the lock box

Alice puts the key in the lock and turns it to encrypt the data

Alice sends the encrypted data to Bob over the internet

Bob has a copy of the key.

Bob uses the key to unlock the lock box and unscramble the data

The keys that the World uses today are mainly the Public Private Key system. This form of key distribution will get hacked by Quantum Computers, which are around the corner.

ArQit is fixing the key problem by using Quantum Key Distribution. This uses the quantum properties of photons to create unique keys that can be shared between two parties in laser transmissions from a satellite. This is unhackable, but the world also needs to improve the lockbox. Many people, helpfully, are working on new algorithms, but no algorithm can ever be provably secure, a description that we CAN apply to QKD.