Communications privacy in the quantum era

CQT's Alexander Ling authors opinion piece for The Straits Times newspaper
18 June 2017

Read CQT's Alexander Ling in Singapore's Straits Times newspaper. He wrote on the future of communications privacy after a record-setting demonstration of a satellite sending quantum signals to Earth.


"China's satellite Micius is making news for connecting two ground stations 1,200km apart at a rate of one signal per second. That won't sound impressive – it's a lot slower than broadband – but this satellite is transmitting an extraordinary signal. It's a harbinger of the future for cyber security."

This is how CQT's Alexander Ling begins an essay for The Straits Times, Singapore's English-language broadsheet.

Alexander wrote the opinion piece to explain the significance of the Chinese satellite Micius, launched to do quantum key distribution (QKD) between orbit and ground. QKD creates an encryption key that cannot be hacked by computer, and satellites offer a way to make connections across inter-continental distances. First data from Micius were published in the journal Science on 15 June.

Alexander leads a group at CQT that is building sources of entangled photon pairs for nanosatellites. The group launched its first light source in December 2015 and is planning its next launch for 2018.

Other media interviewed Alexander for expert comment on the news. He was quoted in stories by the BBC, Science and Scientific American among others.