Tucked in the far northwest of South America, entrepreneurial engineers and scientists in Ecuador are on a historic course. This course is different. It does not involve racing to quantum supremacy or colossal budgets. By staying nimble and agile to leverage local knowledge, expertise, and technologies developed in Ecuador and with partners in Latin America, it is a gradual and unwavering course to enter the big leagues of cybersecurity with quantum-based communications in space.
Jaime Jaramillo is the Space Operations Deputy Director of the Agencia Espacial Civil Ecuatoriana – EXA (Ecuadorian Civil Space Agency) with headquarters in Guayaquil, and the CEO of the Quantum Aerospace Research Institute – QAS with its base in Quito. Since 2013, QAS has been one of the research spin offs of EXA. With the vision that quantum technology is an inflection point in our society, QAS dedicates exclusively to research custom payload configurations and to develop quantum technologies for the space industry. With a total full-time team of 10 staff in Ecuador, the projects at QAS expand on the successes of Ecuador’s / EXA’s first cubesat missions to space, the NEE-01 Pegaso and NEE-02 Krysaor. Staff expertise tends to overlap between QAS and EXA.