Several CT teams will collaborate on the design engineering of the system and its integration into a road transportable vehicle

CT, a leading engineering company in technological innovation throughout the entire product life cycle, has signed a collaboration agreement with the IAC in the field of laser communications, with the aim of developing a transportable quantum communications system. The IAC, which already has a fixed terrestrial optical station installed at the Teide Observatory, Tenerife, at an altitude of 2,400 meters, is now focused on the development of a mobile station, lighter and easily transportable, but capable of complying with the precision requirements of optical communication in free space.

The TOGS, for its acronym in English, is a versatile and modular instrument that allows establishing communications with quantum encryption, between two points located at a great distance. The system will be equipped with a telescope, equipped with adaptive optics, an aiming system, as well as the electronics that allow the encryption and decryption of communications, all installed in a vehicle that can be transported by road, which is quickly and easily deployed in any point.

The CT teams will support the IAC Electronics Department, directed by Dr. Luis Fernando Rodríguez Ramos, in design engineering tasks and integration of the system in the mobile station.

José Antonio Vicente, head of R&D projects, explains: “Optical communication technology using quantum encryption allows communications to be carried out without having a fiber optic channel, that is, “over the air” in a secure manner, since the security of the encryption is guaranteed by the laws of quantum physics, so that the information transmitted cannot be copied or amplified without being modified.

The mobile station will be used for secure communications between two points located at a distance, for example, between two islands. In the future, this technology will allow secure communications between moving points such as satellites in low orbit (LEO) or geostationary (GEO), or ships and aircraft, among many others”.

A milestone in the collaboration of TC and the IAC

The two organizations have been forging their relationship since 2020, when several company representatives made their first visit to the Institute in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, followed by a subsequent meeting at the IAC within the framework of the ACERCA-IACTEC program, which allows companies know how the IAC/IACTEC works.

This one-year public-private collaboration agreement lays the foundations for future cooperation in top-level technological areas, in which the IAC will invest heavily in the future.