Terrestrial links can be considered to be point‑to‑point links utilising either line‑of‑sight free‑space or optical fibre (or a combination of both). Here, we focus on the point‑to‑point free‑space links, which can be used for a range of applications; hand‑held, building‑building, drone‑to‑building, submarine‑to‑aeroplane, amongst others.
While optical fibre connection has many benefits for service, creating that end‑to‑end optical fibre connection can be costly and have a long lead time. Free‑space links enables a network that can be; set up in a timelier manner, dynamic in nature, and reconfigured to include new and upgraded systems.
Satellite‑based implementations are seen as the most near term and efficient route to achieving global coverage for a quantum communications network. The satellite network, in the long term, is envisioned to be made up of low‑Earth, medium, and geostationary constellations that enable global connectivity with a high reliance.
Within the Single‑Photon Group, we develop practical models to determine hardware requirements of the satellite and ground station, explore novel devices and techniques for next generation services, and develop quantum optical ground receiver technology for satellite missions.