GOMX-2 is a Small Photon Entangling Quantum System from GomSpace that demonstrates a working polarization entangled photon source in low earth orbit, known as the Singapore Precision Engineering Quality Services (SPEQS) experiment.
The SPEQS experiment is designed to generate and detect pairs of light particles (photons). By measuring the polarization properties of both light particles, it is possible to quantify the level of quantum correlations (known as entanglement) between them. A process called Spontaneous Parametric Down Conversion (SPDC) where a blue photon (at 405 nm) is converted into two photons centered on 810 nm generates the photon pairs.
The SPEQS experiment carries both the source of photon pairs as well as the necessary polarization measurement apparatus. Within the SPEQS package is a small blue ray laser diode, crystals and single photon detectors.
Photon pairs generated via SPDC are useful for studying the fundamental physics governing correlated particles. A thorough understanding of the underlying physics enables the use of correlated particles in numerous applications, ranging from metrology to encryption. In particular, it is interesting to study how these correlated photons can be generated in a microgravity environment and to demonstrate that their correlations are preserved even after the photons have travelled through a changing gravitational field. This enables correlated photon technology to be deployed even in a space-based environment.
This mission on the NanoRacks-GOMX-2 satellite is designed to be a technology demonstration to show that it is possible to generate quantum correlated photon pairs in space using the CubeSat platform. If successful, it will pave the way for more ambitious experiments where correlated photons are beamed between platforms (space to ground) or (space to space) so that the correlations can be investigated over large distances.
Read more at GomSpace.com.