UNSW researcher wins scholarship for satellite quantum communications research

6 December 2017

NSW Defence Advocate John Harvey, Professor Mark Hoffman, UNSW, Johnathon Green, Northrop Grumman, scholarship winner Associate Professor Robert Maloney, UNSW, and Eric Rienke, Northrop Grumman with large cheque

A University of New South Wales (UNSW) academic has been awarded a $75,000 scholarship from Northrop Grumman to support research into satellite-based quantum communications with applications for defence and other industries.

NSW Defence Advocate John Harvey AM presented the $75,000 Northrop Grumman Professorial Scholarship to Associate Professor Robert Malaney at a ceremony at UNSW.

“Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company with a major presence in NSW supporting the Australian Defence Force,” Mr Harvey said.

“It is fantastic to see companies like Northrop Grumman championing Australian academics and supporting research coming from NSW.

“The defence industry is a key driver of growth and innovation and our state is recognised as a leader in cyber security, robotics, systems integration and information and communication technology.”

Associate Professor Malaney said quantum communication via low-orbit satellites has potential to offer a paradigm shift in telecommunications.

“This emerging technology has potential to provide unparalleled communication security and also lead us into the development of the global quantum internet,” he said.

“Our research work will lead to state-of- the-art quantum communication protocols that can optimise secure communication over very large distances.

“It offers an exciting and emerging technology frontier that is positioned at the interface of advanced quantum physics and satellite-based communications.”

Northrop Grumman established its Professorial Scholarships to help outstanding Australian academics complete research projects and support interdisciplinary research collaboration in the areas of engineering, quantum communications, human-machine interactions and cognitive radio systems.