Unlocking the Future of Quantum Communication: A Case Study of Daniel Oi’s Research in Residence Journey with Satellite Applications Catapult

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Introduction and Background

In 2019, Daniel Oi embarked on a journey as a Researcher in Residence (RiR), supported by the Satellite Applications Catapult. This case study delves into Daniel’s collaborative efforts with Catapult, exploring his exploration of Satellite Quantum Key Distribution technologies and services.

Daniel Oi, a Reader in the Computational Nonlinear and Quantum Optics group at the University of Strathclyde, is renowned for his expertise in quantum theory and technologies. His engagement with the RiR programme aimed to chart the future adoption of Satellite Quantum Key Distribution technologies. This work was funded by EPSRC under grant reference: EP/T517288/1.

Collaborative Endeavours:

Through the RiR programme, Daniel collaborated closely with the Satellite Applications Catapult, leveraging our extensive stakeholder network. Together, we facilitated vital connections across various industries within the supply chain, from component manufacturers to end-users.

Daniel’s contributions generated significant outcomes:

  • Roadmap Development: Daniel developed a comprehensive roadmap outlining the evolution of key components, capabilities, and implementations of Satellite Quantum Key Distribution technologies, spanning short, mid, and long-term prospects.
  • Knowledge Exchange: Daniel actively engaged in knowledge exchange activities, including representing the Satellite Applications Catapult at RiR meetings, presenting at Satuccino, and joining webinars to share project outcomes and insights with the public.
  • Grant Funding: Building on the success of the RiR project, Daniel secured additional funding from Innovate UK for the ViSatQT project. This collaborative endeavour involved partners such as Airbus, the University of Strathclyde, and SMEs: Craft Prospect, KETS, Archangel Lightworks, Nu Quantum, aiming to advance space-based quantum communication networking.
  • Thought Leadership: Daniel’s expertise was showcased through presentations at the Satellite Applications Catapult and participation in the ‘In-Orbit Podcast’ (due to go live June 2024), where he discussed the impact of his RiR award on knowledge exchange and quantum technologies

Daniel Oi’s journey as a Researcher in Residence with Satellite Applications Catapult exemplifies the power of collaboration in advancing cutting-edge technologies. His contributions not only propelled the development of Satellite Quantum Key Distribution technologies but also fostered knowledge exchange and innovation within the space sector. As quantum communication continues to redefine the future of secure communications, Daniel’s work stands as a testament to the transformative potential of interdisciplinary collaboration.

Daniel reflected on his experience, stating, “My RiR@SAC was a valuable experience, bringing me into closer contact with the UK Space Sector and industrial partners, both large and small. Throughout, the SAC provided vital connections, experience, and advice, and acting as the gateway between Academia and the Commercial world.”