LUQCIA: Luxembourg Quantum Communication Infrastructure Laboratory

Title: Luxembourg Quantum Communication Infrastructure Laboratory (LUQCIA)
Funding source: Funded by the European Union – Next Generation EU, with the collaboration of the Department of Media, Connectivity and Digital Policy (SMC) of Luxembourg.
Prime Contractor: SnT, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Principal investigator: Prof. Symeon Chatzinotas
Vice-principal investigator: Dr. Juan Merlano Duncan,
Researchers:  Dr. Thang Xuan Vu, Dr. Steven Kisselef, Dr. Jorge Querol, Dr. Jorge Luis Gonzalez, Dr. Wallace Martins, Dr. Zaid Abdullah, Dr. Hayder Al-Hraishawi, Dr. Houcine Chougrani
Starting date / Duration: January 2022 / 60 months


The LUQCIA project is a 5-year initiative to build a national testbed for Quantum Communication Infrastructure (QCI) and enable advanced collaborative research in this domain. The motivation is to make Luxembourg competitive at a European and international level and foster an active research ecosystem by pooling resources from public and private stakeholders. The immediate target would be Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) applications, which can potentially create an impact in the short term. Nevertheless, the testbed infrastructure will be designed with an open mindset to support more nascent areas, such as Quantum Information Networks.

The preliminary design of the testbed foresees two nodes at the University of Luxembourg grounds (Kirchberg and Belval), which can be federated with similar national initiatives by private companies (e.g., SES) to create more complicated topologies and pave the way to QKD through satellite systems. The LUQCIA project will implement two types of interconnection among the nodes, first using leased optical fibre, and in parallel, free space optics. Once the initial setup is concluded, LUQCIA will constitute an enabler for innovative research across all layers of quantum communication networks, namely software, cryptography, networking, signal processing and optics. The infrastructure will be accessible to other public and private stakeholders as a lab facility or in the form of collaborative research with SnT. The ambition is that the supported research activities will generate funding to maintain and expand the capabilities of LUQCIA beyond the original 5-year plan. In terms of economic impact, the project aims to create a pole of attraction of private stakeholders targeting use cases in FinTech, Cybersecurity and Space. Finally, from the societal point-of-view, the practical deployment of quantum communications with a long-term horizon will guarantee the data security of our communication networks and potentially make the vision of Quantum Internet accessible to all citizens. 


The short-term (1st year) objectives of LUQCIA are to:

  • Design a state-of-the-art experimentation facility for Quantum Communications
  • Select, procure, integrate and test the required hardware and software components
  • Establish a framework to engage in collaborative research with local/international industrial/institutional stakeholders
  • Disseminate the vision and capabilities of the testbed to relevant entities


The longer-term (5-year) objectives of LUQCIA are to:

  • Maintain, expand and upgrade the Quantum communications infrastructure
  • Interconnect LUQCIA with similar initiatives at the national and European level
  • Pursue R&D projects, in particular, collaborative R&D projects through industrial/institutional partnerships/calls
  • Provide technical and operational support to R&D projects utilizing the infrastructure
  • Train students and researchers on Quantum Communications to be hired by the local industry


Infrastructure Description

The architecture of the LUQCIA will consist of a QCI optical network with at least two nodes within the UniLu facilities, and the interconnection with one or more national QCI islands (e.g. SES and/or Gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg). The figure below depicts the architecture and interconnections of the LUQCIA infrastructure implementing the quantum channel between the secure nodes. 


LUQCIA architecture and national QCI islands interconnection.




Dr. Juan Carlos Merlano Duncan, Research Scientist