The collaboration between QuantX Labs and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is set to propel Australian quantum technology into space and advance space-based positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) capabilities.
QuantX Labs, in partnership with SSTL, is embarking on its KAIROS mission, which aims to launch a next-generation optical atomic clock into low Earth orbit (LEO). This optical atomic clock, initially developed at the Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing at the University of Adelaide, will undergo crucial developments to become space-ready with the guidance of SSTL’s system engineering team and support from the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Demonstrator program.
One of the key benefits of this collaboration is SSTL’s role as a provider of space systems engineering, which will uplift the skill set of QuantX Labs’ engineering team and advance Australia’s space technology sector. With SSTL’s deep space heritage and QuantX Labs’ quantum expertise, groundbreaking advancements in PNT services for Australia are expected.
The culmination of this collaborative effort is scheduled for early 2026, when QuantX Labs will launch and demonstrate its precision timing technology in LEO. However, before that, a rigorous journey of testing and preliminary launches is planned to validate the reliability and performance of the innovative quantum technologies in the space environment.
Quotes from key stakeholders highlight the significance of this collaboration. Professor Andre Luiten, Managing Director of QuantX Labs, expresses excitement about the collaboration with SSTL, recognizing their expertise in small satellite technology and systems engineering consulting. Clive Oates, Head of SSTL Australia, emphasizes their delight in supporting QuantX Labs’ next-generation optical atomic clock and the KAIROS mission. Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency, highlights the potential of QuantX Labs’ quantum clock technology to transform positioning, navigation, and timing services, and expresses pride in providing support through the Australian Government’s Demonstrator Program.
Overall, this collaboration between QuantX Labs and SSTL holds great promise for advancing Australia’s quantum technology in space and enhancing the country’s PNT capabilities.