7 December 2022


Media Updates, News, Quantum

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  • RHEA System Luxembourg S.A., POST Luxembourg, HITEC Luxembourg and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) of the University of Luxembourg are joining forces in Luxembourg to develop a next-generation cybersecurity solution, based on quantum key distribution (QKD), in partnership with world leaders SpeQtral (Singapore) and evolutionQ (Canada).
  • The 3-year End-to-End International Use Cases for Operational QKD Applications and Services (INT-UQKD) project, supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) and led by RHEA System Luxembourg, will demonstrate how QKD can be used to secure end-to-end communications and meet the needs of users.
  • The project will contribute to the development of European skills, knowledge and know-how in QKD and the adoption of these emerging technologies.


Supported by ESA and led by RHEA System Luxembourg, the INT-UQKD project brings together several key Luxembourg players from the industrial, academic and service sectors to develop a next-generation cybersecurity solution based on the distribution of quantum encryption keys.

QKD technology is expected to be the next major step in the provision of cyber-secured connectivity and end-to-end applications, with the efficacy of traditional cryptographic techniques being threatened by the emergence of quantum computing. The use of quantum keys makes it possible to verify the integrity of digital communications, but requires specially equipped fibre networks and hybrid satellite-terrestrial networks for long-distance communications.

Starting from the user’s point of view, the INT-UQKD project will address the specific issues of securing end-to-end digital communications and integrating the solutions into existing information systems within today’s operational environments. The overall INT-UQKD project will focus on the definition, justification and validation of focussed use cases to guide future development of sovereign European solutions, leading to a quantum key management service for organizations and end-users.

This project will strengthen the skills, knowledge and know-how of the Luxembourg ecosystem in the field of QKD for future European capabilities. RHEA System Luxembourg will conduct five pilot demonstrations of cross-border use cases for the management and integration of quantum keys into existing IT infrastructures and applications, working alongside HITEC, the leader in ground segment for Luxembourg space programmes, the University of Luxembourg – through SnT, an international player in information and communication technology (ICT) research – and POST Luxembourg, the largest provider of postal and telecommunication services in Luxembourg, and a provider of financial services.

Pascal Rogiest, RHEA Group Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director of RHEA System Luxembourg, said: “RHEA’s long-standing expertise in project management and systems integration in both space and cybersecurity will enable us to effectively manage this ambitious undertaking that encompasses both sectors. We are proud to have initiated the INT-UQKD programme with our industrial partners focused on operations, and to have been trusted to lead it. We look forward to developing our own capabilities as we work in collaboration with those project partners from Europe, Canada and Singapore, and with ESA. We are convinced that INT-UQKD brings a much-needed demonstration of the actual use cases of quantum communication infrastructures.”

Pierre Zimmer, Deputy Managing Director of POST Luxembourg, stated: “POST Luxembourg is continuously developing its innovation capabilities to accelerate the development of cutting-edge services in order to improve competitiveness of our customers. By participating in this project, POST anticipates the generalization of quantum computing, with the aim of providing ever higher levels of cybersecurity in the long term.”

Elodie Viau, Director, Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, ESA, said: “The INT-UQKD programme will serve as a contribution and practical element to develop our capabilities in the field of quantum key distribution. It complements our major projects that we are involved in with the EU and within our European programmes for safety and security. Cooperating with industry and internationally is important because it helps us to develop QKD solutions that respond to real-life requirements and allows us to go to market with viable business and commercial proposals.”

Professor Björn Ottersten, Director of SnT, confirmed: “Establishing QKD in space is instrumental for widespread use of this technology. As a leading research centre in post-quantum security and satellite communications, we are ready to bring our experience to the table to address this new challenge. The INT-UQKD project is unique as it offers the opportunity to use the SpeQtral-1 satellite forming a real-world testbed across three continents.”

Yves Elsen, Managing Director, HITEC Luxembourg, added: “INT-UQKD opens a new development axis in which HITEC’s competences as a turnkey antenna designer and supplier will be fully exploited towards the design and operation of specialized optical telescopes. This is particularly relevant in the context of the growing development of QKD initiatives on a European scale.”