Project to develop quantum communication networks for European Defence
The project “Disruptive SDN secure communications for European Defence” (DISCRETION) was one of the 26 projects selected by the European Commission under the 2020 call of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).
The DISCRETION proposal, in which Professors Ricardo Chaves, researcher at INESC-ID, and Paulo Mateus, researcher at IT, participate by Instituto Superior Técnico, was even ranked first in the topic of “Cyber situational awareness and defense capabilities, defense networks and technologies for secure communication and information sharing” of the EDIDP 2020 call for proposals (EDIDP-CSAMN-2020).
The “DISCRETION” project aims at integrating and combining the technologies of software defined network (SDN) and quantum key distribution. This combined with legacy optical networks will build a highly secure, scalable and resilient network control architecture for advanced tactical operation services and create a degree of autonomy for European defence forces.
Compared with the traditional approach, where the network configuration and management interfaces are typically proprietary and tied to a specific manufacturer, SDN represents a revolution that supports further network evolution, opening it to potentially disruptive technologies like Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and quantum technologies in general. This technology will reinforce the European Defence’s autonomy in secure communications and will enable European armed forces to also use Radio Spectrum for military activities.
The members of the consortium are Deimos (coordinator), Instituto Superior Técnico, Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), Altice Labs, Adyta Lda, Telefonica Investigación y Desarrollo S.A.U, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH and Nextworks.
The Técnico team is composed of professors Ricardo Chaves (INESC-ID researcher) and Paulo Mateus (IT researcher). “This project is an important step towards greater collaboration between industry, academia and the government for the improvement of Cybersecurity at national and European level”, stresses professor Ricardo Chaves, coordinator of the “DISCRETION” project at Técnico. Professor Paulo Mateus highlights the importance of the project, once “it allows the participation of Instituto Superior Técnico in the modernization of national and European defence” and “promotes cooperation between IST mathematicians and engineers”.
Experience shows the potential of the project
An application of these technologies was demonstrated in Lisbon on 30th June, with an experimental test supported by the General Staff of the Portuguese Armed Forces (EMGFA), and the National Security Office (GNS). Some of the Portuguese partners in DISCRETION – Deimos, IT, Instituto Superior Técnico and AlticeLabs – have set-up a pioneer experiment, consisting in the interchange of messages between two Portuguese Defence facilities (5km apart from each other) using a quasi-quantum link and fiber optics.
According to General Rocha, from EMGFA “this experiment allowed to demonstrate the national capabilities of the Portuguese industry, academia and defence internationally, and to start DISCRETION in a perfect time”. Admiral Gameiro Marques, Head of the Cybersecurity group – National Security Office, highlighted “the development of projects of this nature will enable Portugal – and Europe – to have its own technology in these areas, including encryption machines and the respective cryptographic key production processes”.
Adapted from Instituto Superior Técnico
International European Conference on Parallel and Distributed Computing
The 27th International European Conference on Parallel and Distributed Computing (Euro-Par 2021) will take from August 30 to September 3 2021 in Lisbon.
Euro-Par is the prime European conference covering all aspects of parallel and distributed processing, ranging from theory to practice, from small to the largest parallel and distributed systems and infrastructures, from fundamental computational problems to full-fledged applications, from architecture, compiler, language and interface design and implementation, to tools, support infrastructures, and application performance aspects.
The 2021 edition of Euro-Par will be organized as a collaboration between INESC-ID and Instituto Superior Técnico (IST).
– Abstract Submission: February 5, 2021
– Paper Submission Deadline: February 12, 2021
– Author Notification: April 30, 2021
– Camera-Ready Papers: June 6, 2021
More information is available here.