Ground-breaking quantum firm, QuantX Labs, has partnered with global small satellite supplier Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) to send their locally made quantum technology into space.

The Adelaide-based company is set to take their advancements in quantum technology to new heights with the KAIROS mission, which will launch a next-generation optical atomic clock into low Earth orbit (LEO) and revolutionise space-based position, navigation and timing (PNT) capabilities.

Initially developed at the University of Adelaide’s Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing with funding from the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre, the optical atomic clock will now undergo developments to become space-ready through the support of SSTL’s system engineering team and the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Demonstrator Program.

Managing Director of QuantX Labs, Professor Andre Luiten, said the company is thrilled to be collaborating with SSTL.

“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,” he said.

Head of SSTL Australia, Clive Oates, echoed Professor Luiten’s sentiments.

“SSTL is delighted to be collaborating with QuantX Labs, bringing our world-renowned space engineering expertise to support QuantX Labs next-generation optical atomic clock and the KAIROS mission,” said Mr Oates.

Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, explained quantum has been identified as a critical technology in the national interest.

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

“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 partnership will also uplift the skillset of QuantX Labs’ Adelaide-based engineering team, advancing the skills base of the local space industry and forming the foundations required to investigate further advancements in PNT services in Australia.

QuantX is poised to launch its technology into LEO in 2026.

Off the back of the SSTL announcement, QuantX has also launched a breakthrough concept in Defence innovation, with the opening of its collaborative workspace, RavensNest.

The new facility is a capability accelerator that will super-charge South Australia’s defence innovation ecosystem by allowing defence companies to work hand-in-glove with defence researchers, University researchers and the Australian Defence Force. It will fast-track transformative technologies from research through to sovereign capability, answering the most urgent problems for defence.

Learn more about RavensNest


Image: 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.