A contract between ESA and SES was signed on the occasion of the 73rd International Astronautical Congress, in Paris on 22 September 2022. Supported by the European Commission through Horizon Europe, the SES consortium of 20 European companies will design, develop, launch and operate the EAGLE-1 satellite, enabling the in-orbit validation of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) from space.
This ground-breaking technology is putting Europe at the forefront of innovation with satellite-enabled QKD. Together with its European partners, SES will build the first sovereign European end-to-end space-based QKD system, developing and operating a dedicated low earth orbit (LEO) satellite.
EAGLE-1 will also be used by EU Member States to test the technology and provide useful mission data for the next generation of Quantum Communication Infrastructures (QCIs), allowing the EU to prepare for a sovereign, autonomous cross-border quantum secure communications networks.
The Eagle-1 satellite is due to launch in 2024 and will then complete three years of in-orbit validation supported by the European Commission’s In orbit Demonstration and Validation service under the Horizon Europe R&I programme.
- 22. syyskuuta 2022