QuantX Labs’ optical atomic clock heads into space


Precision timing and quantum sensor manufacturer QuantX Labs has joined with Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) through Airbus Australia, to bolster their space knowledge and skillsets as they propel Australian quantum technology into space.

QuantX Labs, known for flagship Cryogenic Sapphire Oscillator Cryoclock, is poised to take quantum advancements to new heights through its KAIROS mission.

This mission culminates in the launch into low Earth orbit and demonstration of a next-generation optical atomic clock , a project that promises to revolutionise space-based PNT (position, navigation and timing) capabilities.

The optical atomic clock, which was initially developed at the Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing at the University of Adelaide and supported by funding from the SmartSat CRC, will now undergo crucial developments to become space-ready.

Managing Director of QuantX Labs Professor Andre Luiten said: “QuantX Labs is thrilled to announce its collaboration with SSTL, a global leader in small satellite technology and systems engineering consulting.

“This collaboration adds a crucial layer of expertise to our KAIROS mission, providing confidence that we will deliver robust engineering solutions and unparalleled reliability as we venture into space.”

The collaboration is part of the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Demonstrator Program.

The Head of Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said: “The Australian Government has identified quantum as a critical technology in the national interest.”

“QuantX Labs’ quantum clock technology has the potential to transform the positioning, navigation, and timing services that underpin our daily lives, and we’re proud to provide support through the Australian Government’s Demonstrator Program.

“By drawing on SSTL’s extensive space engineering expertise to help get its quantum clock into orbit, QuantX Labs will be able to start developing valuable space heritage.”

The culmination of this collaborative effort is slated for early 2026, when QuantX Labs will launch and demonstrate its precision timing technology in low Earth orbit.

A rigorous journey of testing and preliminary launches is planned over the coming years to validate the reliability and performance of the innovative quantum technologies in the space environment.

Further reading:
QuantX Labs to demonstrate quantum clock in space

Picture (L-R) from left to right: Prof Andre Luiten, Managing Director and Co-Founder QuantX Labs, Clive Oates, Head of SSTL Australia, Enrico Palermo, Head of Australian Space Agency and A/Prof Martin O’Connor General Manager QuantX Labs.

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