Kicking off a quantum key distribution satellite mission in space using Precious Payload software

The result:

Run RFI for launch services on two iterations of the satellite mission design in less than a month

Collected 16 verified launch proposals in 3 weeks

This is 4X more proposals for each service than usual, thanks to our feature of distributing a standard request to all suppliers connected to our network.

Saved 120 engineering hours

Based on average of 2 engineers drafting the documentation, distributing the request, and meeting with at least 7 suppliers for 2 mission designs separately, the whole process takes 7–8 weeks.

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The company:

SpeQtral is a Singapore-based quantum-secure communication systems provider. They recently secured $8.3M to fund their work. The company is reinventing cryptography for the quantum age, using satellites in LEO to secure data networks across the globe.
SpeQtral's “QKD” technology is a crucial component for quantum-secure communication networks. QKD uses quantum physics—as opposed to current math-based solutions—to distribute symmetric encryption keys used to secure communication networks.

The situation:

SpeQtral’s technology is based on that demonstrated on the CQT “SpooQy-1” nanosatellite mission from 2019-2021. This was a technology demonstration of a 3U CubeSat satellite deployed from the ISS to generate polarization-entangled photon pairs and to de-risk future QKD missions.

SpeQtral secured further funding in 2021 which enabled the company to kickstart their work around larger commercial satellite missions, including looking into the satellite platform supply chain and exploring potential for other bus sizes by the engineering team.
Building a successful mission for demonstrating commercial QKD capability would require coordination of 5 hardware suppliers in different parts of the world for building the satellite.


• Building a successful mission for demonstrating commercial QKD capability would require coordination of 5 hardware suppliers in different parts of the world for building the satellite.
• Obtaining actionable information on pricing, lead times, and product capabilities from 10+ vendors while changing requirements on the go
• Keeping sensitive payload information secure while sharing the requirements with vendors

product Features used

• Running Request for Proposals for 2 architectures for the same mission simultaneously
• Payload Data Room with control over sharing specific requirements to the vendors
• Proposal trade-off analysis tool

feature spotlight

Mission Data Room

SpeQtral Payload Dataroom

To increase time-efficiency of the SpeQtral team’s engineering time on back-and-forth emails with suppliers, we built a SpeQtral-1 Mission Overview using Precious Payload’s Data Room. This allowed for direct communication with contractors. The onboarding and building the data room took only one hour.

Precious Payload selected 18 launch providers and sent requests for services in 2024, including emerging launch providers not typically known by our clients. Companies that use Precious Payload service to run RFI of this size usually save up to 25 hours of valuable engineering time per one request. This lets them concentrate on mission goals while spending just 2-3 hours maximum from the initial setup to the review of questions which might arise from suppliers.

feature spotlight

Trade-off analysis tool

Orbital launches trade-off analysis tool

Our comprehensive database on the global launch capacity allows our customers to run trade-off analysis across 25 parameters that affect the risk, timeline, and budget profile of the mission. These include rescheduling risks, heritage of the deployment mechanism and launch vehicle, regulatory risks, remanifestation and backup options, and, of course, budget and associated cashflows.

Precious Payload proprietory scoring algorithm generates a clear, actionable report that helps our clients plan the mission, advance the procurement and award contracts, write better proposals to secure private and public funding.

With quantum cryptography fast becoming mainstream, and the quantum key distribution market expected to be worth US$20 billion in the next decade, the time is now for companies like SpeQtral to get ahead of the competition. Using Precious Payload’s Digital Mission Manager software allows forward-thinking space startups to make the best use of their time while reducing risk and saving money.

Looking for the perfect solution for your space business? You can run an RFI/RFPs and tender for launch services in record time without making newbie mistakes or breaking the bank.

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