A quantum-secure military drone takes off
The demonstration represents a significant improvement in crew safety and the application is missing
Quantum encryption specialist Arqit and autonomous systems supplier Blue Bear demonstrate quantum-resistant data security for autonomous drones in a battlespace environment.

Future quantum computers could put secure encrypted data transmissions, such as between a group of autonomous systems acting like a swarm of conflicting drones, at risk of being intercepted and decrypted.

Blue Bear simulates and flies mock information surveillance and reconnaissance missions on a drone using mission and target data encrypted with Arqit technology.

During the mission, image data from potential targets is encrypted and transmitted securely using the quantum-secure Arqit communication tunnel.

It uses so-called rotationally symmetric keys, which means that the keys used to encrypt and decrypt messages change frequently, making it difficult for adversaries to intercept the data. This is probably the first time that small drones have demonstrated this.

Communication endpoints are also actively authorized to ensure secure communication.

“The promise of multi-domain integration can only be realized with stronger and simpler encryption available with a lightweight software protocol for small drones,” said David Williams, founder, chairman, and CEO of Arctic.

“With continuous verification, even if an asset is compromised, it can be disabled in real-time. This has never been seen before.” Our demonstration represents a significant advance in the safety of manned and unmanned applications,” said Blue Bear CEO Yoge Patel.