The Australian Department of Defence has released a Defence Industry Development Strategy (DIDS) that defines…
QuantX Labs has secured $750,000 funding for an innovative research project aimed at revolutionizing a secured Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) capability for defence applications. The project, titled “Quantum-Secured Time Transfer for Resilient PNT,” will receive support from Department of Defence, paving the way for cutting-edge advancements in PNT security.
Access to trusted PNT information is of paramount importance for defence operations. Current PNT signals, such as those provided by the Global Positioning System (GPS), are vulnerable to covert spoofing, where malicious actors can transmit false information to disrupt military activities without detection. The “Quantum-Secured Time Transfer for Resilient PNT” project seeks to address this critical issue by harnessing quantum technology to guarantee the authenticity of received PNT data, making spoofing impossible.
This ground-breaking research project builds upon the success of a previous grant from the Defence Innovation Partnership which brought together experts from the University of Adelaide, QuantX Labs, and the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG). The new project encompasses several crucial objectives including demonstration of quantum-secured time transfer using entangled photons, development of a classical two-way time transfer across a free-space link, and investigating the impact of loss and turbulence on both time transfer methods.
Additionally, a critical objective of this research will be to synchronize two Cryoclocks. These oscillators, QuantX’s flagship product, are renowned as the world’s most precise clocks and are being used as the driving sources for critical radar facilities. The need for synchronisation between multiple radar sites is a key challenge for new radar architectures.
The project will culminate in a demonstration of quantum-secured time transfer over a free space optical link. This will be used to synchronize small Chip Scale Atomic Clocks that are suited for drone and satellite deployment. This approach will allow us to transfer the performance of a very high-quality ground clock onto these portable platforms. This achievement will mark a significant advancement in defence technology, providing unparalleled security and precision for PNT data.
A key partner in this work is Inovor Technologies who will assist in the eventual deployment of this technology onto a satellite. Inovor’s experience in space deployments, particularly in interfacing complex payloads into the space craft will be key to our demonstrator mission.
Dr. Martin O’Connor, General Manager at QuantX Labs, emphasized the project’s importance, stating, “Quantum-secured time transfer offers a new level of security and accuracy for defence operations. We are excited to embark on this research journey, which has the potential to safeguard our troops and assets in contested environments.”
This project aligns perfectly with QuantX Lab’s Kairos Mission a space-based clock that aims at an alternate and sovereign PNT solution for the nation. The company is already well underway to developing a next-generation atomic clock based on optical technology for applications in space. This ground-breaking high-performance clock delivers to a multitude of applications that are of high value to numerous space end-users. This optical atomic clock and quantum secured optical network, represents first steps towards a sovereign and secure alternate architecture for a GPS-like timing and position system.