Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has been selected by Loft Orbital to develop and build the YAM-4 spacecraft bus for the Quantum Encryption and Science Satellite (QEYSSat) mission, the company said.
The QEYSSat mission is being led by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Honeywell. The CSA awarded Honeywell a USD 30 million dollar contract for the design and implementation phases of the mission. The mission will demonstrate the use of advanced encryption technology, also known as quantum key distribution (QKD), in space for secure online communications on Earth.
The satellite will be designed using BCT´s newest X-SAT line of spacecraft, specifically the X-SAT Venus-Class which can carry payloads up to 90 kg. As with other BCT X-SAT buses, the X-SAT Venus-Class is a high-agility platform, enabling the onboard instrument to collect data and revisit sites frequently. The X-SAT Venus-Class´s compact profile is designed to maximize the volume, mass and power available for the CSA mission.
The benefits of QEYSSat will be substantial. Because encryption keys cannot be compromised, they are virtually impossible to crack, and integration this technology into Canadian communications networks would guarantee the privacy of public, private and commercial data. While ground-based QKD devices are available for use today, their capabilities are limited: current systems rely on cables to transmit quantum particles on land, but the signals can become unreliable over long distances. To provide the capacity across long distances, even globally, the network must be able to use satellites in lieu of cables.
Blue Canyon Technologies, a Colorado-based private company founded in 2008 to bring innovative, reliable and affordable solutions to space missions, is an experienced integrator of aerospace systems and developer of advanced aerospace products and technologies. BCT is a vertically integrated spacecraft manufacturer supporting nearly 40 unique missions with over 70 spacecraft. For the latest news on Blue Canyon Technologies and for other company information, visit www.bluecanyontech.com.