[PRESS RELEASE]Sony CSL Succeeds in Demonstrating High-Speed Signal Processing Unit in Orbit with Transmission between International Space Station and Ground


Sony CSL has successfully downlinked video data via gigabit Ethernet from the Quantum Small Optical Link (QSOL) installed aboard the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" on the International Space Station (ISS) to the optical ground station for satellite communications (hereinafter, optical ground station)1 of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). The transmission was made using Sony CSL's free-space optical Ethernet communications error-correction technology, an independently developed standard.

QSOL is the optical antenna component of the compact Secure Laser Communications Terminal for Low Earth Orbit (SeCRETS). It was commissioned by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to demonstrate the technology in orbit and was jointly developed by NICT, Next generation Space system Technology Research Association (NeSTRA), The University of Tokyo, SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, and Sony CSL. SeCRETS was launched on August 2, 2023, to the ISS and installed to the IVA-replaceable Small Exposed Experiment Platform (i-SEEP) on the outside of "Kibo". Subsequently, experiments of 10 GHz clock optical transmission between the ISS in low Earth orbit and a portable optical ground station were successfully conducted to share private keys and to demonstrate information-theoretically secure transmission of one-time pad encryption.

1 NICT Optical Ground Station
A telescope facility built to aid the development of technology related to space communications. The station has a total of four telescopes with apertures of 1.5 m and 1.0 m in Koganei, Tokyo; 1.0 m in Kashima, Ibaraki; and 1.0 m in Onna, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa. The experiment this time used the telescope with a 1.5 m aperture.

2 142.10-O-1 Reed-Solomon Product Code for Optical Communication, an experimental
specification (orange book) of the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS).

3 Successful private key sharing and high confidentiality communications between the International Space Station and the ground ~ Expectations for practical satellite quantum cryptography communications ~ 
(18 Apr 2024, press release, Japanese only)

This research and development was carried out as part of the "Research and Development of Quantum Cryptography in Satellite Communications (JPJ007462)" within the "Research and Development Project for Priority ICT Technologies (JPMI00316)" of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Reference: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications press release
Dated 14 June 2018.
Results of the call for proposals for research and development of information and communication technologies in 2018.

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