DEIMOS Engenharia leads the consortium of the activity in the frame of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme
The project will provide state-of-the-art high-security encryption services to be applied in Defence scenarios for the first time
January 12th, 2022 – The official kick off meeting of DISCRETION was held today in Lisbon with the participation of the European Commission and representatives of the 4 Member States supporting this project (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Austria).
With the advent of quantum computers and the potential for these novel machines to break most of the well know cyphers, military communications are becoming increasingly vulnerable. DISCRETION is a pioneer project addressing this threat using disruptive technologies like Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) to create a secure and resilient communication network for the European military forces. Making use of legacy optical networks, DISCRETION will allow to build a highly secure, scalable and resilient network for advanced tactical operational services.
There are several initiatives in place along Europe to make use of quantum properties of single atoms or particles of light for different purposes like computation, communication and sensing, such as EuroQCI, with the main objective of building a secure end-to-end network using quantum technologies. DISCRETION is clearly aligned with this European strategy and will provide a set of unique high-security encryption end-to-end services to be applied in Defence scenarios for the first time. It will definitely contribute not only to reinforce the European Defence’s autonomy in secure communications but will also enable European armed forces to use Radio Spectrum for military activities.
The DISCRETION proposal ranked first in the Cyber situational awareness and defence capabilities, defence networks and technologies for secure communication and information sharing topic of EDIDP’s 2020 call for proposals (EDIDP-CSAMN-2020).
The National Security Office and the Portuguese MoD e Portuguese CHOD were involved in the definition of some operational requirements during the development of the document that was submitted to the European Commission.
This project is led by Deimos, supported by Portuguese National Security Authority, the Portuguese Ministry of Defense and the Portuguese Chief of Defence. Instituto de Telecomunicações, Instituto Superior Técnico, Altice Labs and Adyta Lda. (from Portugal), Telefonica Investigación y Desarrollo S.A.U., Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (both from Spain), the Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH and Nextworks, from Italy are the members of he consortium.
‘This activity is a steppingstone for Deimos in Telecom’, states Nuno Ávila, the Director of Deimos Engenharia. ‘Quantum technologies are the future for dependable communications, and we are thrilled to be the pioneers building up this capacity for the European defence’.
Catarina Bastos, DISCRETION Project Manager in Deimos Engenharia, states: ‘We are really happy to have the possibility to develop such a network from Portugal. Our consortium is unique in terms of experience and innovation. We will join all of our forces to change the communications and information sharing paradigm in Europe’
“This Project is an opportunity for the development of a cryptographic capability, states Luis Policarpo, DISCRETION Project Manager for the Member States. “This capability can be used nationally and will give us the necessary leverage to tackle the new hybrid threats”.
“Rear Admiral Gameiro Marques, Portuguese National Security Office Diretor-General, states that “This project is also seen as a strong contributor for the improvement of the current level of strategic autonomy for both EU and the participating member states, since it will deliver a QKD crypto capability to be used in both military and highly sensitive networks”.