Thinking Big in Space by Going Small: The SeQBO Project in Italy Harnesses Cutting Edge Quantum Tech

Cubesats are the mainstay of the growing satellite market. They get better, smaller, and more powerful by the year. An interdisciplinary team in Italy works on the quantum SeQBO project. SeQBO is a multiple-phase project that started in 2018. I came across the team’s technical paper, “SeQBO – A miniaturized system for Quantum Key Distribution,” published at the 71st International Astronautical Congress – The CyberSpace Edition this past October 2020.

Funded by the Italian Ministry of Defence, SeQBO is being developed by Argotec in tandem with the University of Padua. Argotec is an aerospace engineering company with deep expertise in space missions and avionics. It is based in the northern city of Turin and with a subsidiary in Maryland, United States. The University of Padua is the second-oldest university in Italy. It has a strong heritage advancing quantum research for communications, quantum optics, and QKD.

SeQBO conceptualizes a miniature Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) system onboard a 12U cubesat architecture.

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