Integration of Quantum Key Distribution into Space Communications

Onboard 5G system and Quantum Key Distribution (QKD)

Bringing the latest quantum technology into space

Securing the Satellite communication network with Space-based QKD

Creating a quantum network in space

Enabling the Future of the EU space infrastructure with Quantum Technologies

Developing and aiming to deploy the future network of space-based quantum satellites that covers the entire European region

The technology behind QUDICE

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) is a promising solution to protect digital communications, guaranteeing unconditional security based on the laws of quantum mechanics rather than on the computation capability of an adversary. QKD requires a satellite network to allow the sharing of random keys between two legitimate users at the European scale. The main target of QUDICE is the development of the components and subsystems for quantum communication and optical systems for space-based QKD enabling the realization of a European network of satellites with quantum key distribution as the main service.


Development of a Technology Readiness Level-6 (TRL-6) space-qualifiable source for discrete variable (DV) Quantum Key Distribution (QKD)


Development of a Technology Readiness Level TRL5-6 space-qualifiable Continuous Variable (CV) QKD source


Development of a Technology Readiness Level TRL5-6 space-qualifiable Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG)


Development of a Technology Readiness Level TRL5-6 space-qualifiable Entangled Photon Source (EPS)

5G & QKD

Development of a TRL 6 space-qualifiable onboard 5G system for QKD post-processing support and QKD-secured connectivity service


Development of a Technology Readiness Level (TRL 6) space-qualifiable satellite Pointing and Tracking (PAT) system


Development of simulations and testbeds to assess quantum satellite communications components


Definition of the roadmap towards TRL9 for the developed systems

State-of-the-Art Technology

QUDICE ( Quantum Devices and subsystems for Communications in SpacE) will work to innovate and develop state-of-the-art technology for different subsystems


A redundant and high-speed (>1Gbps) QRNG containing two different Quantum Entropy Sources (QESs) will be designed, developed and tested.

DV-QKD source

The consortium seeks to develop a QKD source with a repetition rate 200MHz and able to modulate between at least two intensity levels and three ≥ polarization states, two of them orthogonal to each other and the third mutually unbiased.

Entangled source

A fully functional two-photon polarization entangled source will be manufactured in telecommunications wavelength range, and already developed technology will be utilized to reach space quality standards.

CV-QKD Source

The goal of the consortium is to design of the EM of a CV-QKD source meeting all the constraints of a satellite environment, the realization of the prototype and its validation in a relevant environment.

PAT system

The project intends to increase the Pointing Acquisition and Tracking subsystem Technology Readiness Level, in awareness that the key requirement of the design will be the pointing error in disturbed environment (jitter of satellite), the Field of Regard and the optical performance (degree of polarization, wavefront error) in different operating conditions.

5G systems

The QKD post-processing process via the onboard 5G system will be tested and demonstrated under realistic channel conditions, involving radio channel emulation for LEO scenarios with realistic link budget configurations and proper modeling of the different impairments in terms of delay and frequency shift and shift variation rates.




Partnering Institutions




Budget for the project