Raman Research Institute (RRI) will collaborate with the Indian Navy’s combat systems engineering wing on quantum technologies to develop secure quantum communication channels of strategic importance.
The Bangalore based institute entered into a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with Weapons and Electronics Systems Engineering Establishment (WESEE) in Delhi on Thursday.
The partnership was formalised five days after RRI announced a breakthrough demonstration in establishing secure communication between a stationary source and a moving receiver using quantum key distribution.
The Navy said enhancing research in quantum technologies for maritime use cases is in line with India’s push for self-reliance.
Quantum technologies facilitate the secure transmission of sensitive information and minimise the risk of network breaches, making them increasingly critical to advanced military plans.
Prof Urbasi Sinha, who heads the Quantum Information and Computing (QuIC) Laboratory at RRI, said the agreement with WESEE comprised “a broad umbrella” of potential research areas.
The defence forces have shown “great interest” in quantum security, Prof Sinha said.
“We have been having discussions on the possibility of using these technologies to aid maritime services,” Prof Sinha told DH. “Considering the work we have been doing (on long-distance quantum communication), this was the natural next step to take. The terrestrial demonstration of secure quantum communication has already been done and this capability can now be extended to other domains.”
Ship To Shore Communication
She said the QuIC Lab would, along with WESEE, develop solutions in areas that include ship to shore communication. The lab’s recently achieved capabilities are set to find applications in secure communication with the moving, offshore vessels.
Prof Tarun Souradeep, Director, RRI, and Vice Admiral Sandeep Naithani, Chief of Materiel, Indian Navy, signed the MoU at the Sena Bhawan in Delhi.
For the demonstration of secure quantum communication which was held last month, a QuIC Lab team led by Prof Sinha had deployed an indigenously developed pointing, acquisition and tracking system that assisted a ground-based source to track a moving terrestrial vehicle.
RRI said the breakthrough demonstration improved the possibilities in developing ground-to-satellite-based secure quantum communication systems.