Remote Quantum Encryption Service

Inés Montaño

Quantum Photonics and Emerging Phenomena Lead Researcher


Sparking Curiosity in Quantum Sciences

To introduce a broader audience to the fascinating and mind-boggling world of quantum science, we recently implemented the pre college initiative SPARCQS - Sparking Curiosity in Quantum Science. The goal of SPARQS is to bring ‘hands on’ quantum science experiences to schools and communities, provide students with the opportunity to observe engaging demonstrations, perform experiments, learn about career opportunities in STEM, and most importantly, have fun with quantum science! One of the modalities of SPARCQS is a 10’ Van Trailer, a mobile quantum laboratory to bring ‘hands on’ quantum science experiences to schools and communities, which we implemented over the summer of 2022. The idea behind the SPARCQS trailer is to facilitate meaningful outreach that does exactly that it reaches out to pre college students. Traditional outreach initiatives largely rely on the participants coming to the outreach providers to be educated and thus are often limited to urban populations. The SPARCQS trailer allows us to bring quantum science to the participants, to schools as well as communities in general. Bringing a mobile quantum laboratory equipped with conceptual ‘hand’s on’ quantum science experiences to schools and community events, we will be able to increase quantum awareness in urban as well as rural and other underserved communities. Over the summer, SPARCQS has visited kids at a local summer camp (K-6), an all-girls Quantum Computing summer camp in Tucson (middle/high school students), students participating in the NAU C.A.R.E. program (high school students) and a week-long STEAM event at the Mall of America in Minnesota! It has been an incredible experience and we are excited to introduce even more people to SPARCQS in the future!


RQES' Mission

Inés Montaño, team RQES' client, is an associate physics professor at NAU and is the creator and project lead of the SPARCQS project, standing for SPARking Curiosity in Quantum Science. The project aims to do just that through in-person demonstrations of physical quantum encryption hardware. The hardware is a fully functioning quantum encryption computer, with three roles to be played within it; the sender of the data, the receiver of the data, and a spy who tries to intercept the data. These roles are played by the participants of the demonstration. SPARCQS travels across the nation with a trailer containing this hardware and its accessories, which they call the “mobile quantum laboratory”. They are requested to travel to a variety of places with their lab and demonstrate the hardware, with most locations being grade schools. This project has been wildly successful, and SPARCQS wants to increase their efficiency and outreach, though they have some roadblocks in the way of achieving this goal. First of all, the mobile laboratory limits the places they are able to travel, as some locations may be too difficult to haul the trailer. As well as this, SPARCQS receives many requests to show demonstration, and these requests may be conflicting. For example, they get a request to demonstrate in Minnesota, and then receive a request to be in Arizona the next day; this is simply not feasible for them to travel this far and frequently. Finally, COVID has created a lot of restrictions which can limit in person demonstrations.

These issues have caused Inés to contract team RQES to solve this problem. Inés' solution is a website that can remotely control the hardware and all of its settings, by being able to change the dials and interact with the buttons on the website with a GUI. Thus, team RQES will develop the website so that multiple people will be able to connect to the website at once, and they will each play one of the roles specified before; sender, receiver or data spy. As well as this, cameras will be put around the hardware so that the changes done to the hardware through the website can be watched in real time, as well as the encryption process. The website may also implement other features such as a user login system and possibly an administrator system to disallow certain actions. In the end of all of this, the result of the encryption will be displayed in some form. This solution will save Inés a large amount of hassle and time by not having to haul around the mobile quantum laboratory every time a demonstration needs to be done. The initial solution drafted by our her can be found in the solution page.



Ian Dennis

Team Manager


About Ian

My name is Ian Dennis, I am studying Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics. I am the team leader of this project which means I am responsible for all planning, meeting management, and all communication with the client and professor on behalf of the team.

Isaac Davis

Frontend Engineer


About Isaac

Hello, my name is Isaac. I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering with minors in Cybersecurity and Informatics, with the goal of pursuing a career as a Software Engineer. For this project, I am the Frontend Engineer resposible for everything frontend.

Jacob Olsen

Software Architect


About Jacob

I am Jacob Olson, an Applied Computer Science student at NAU. I'm interested in AI and cloud platforms, and my role in the RQES team is project architect. My hobbies include mountain biking, snowboarding, and hiking. As project architect, I am responsible for managing the higher level software design decisions and architecture.

Gavin Russel

Backend Engineer


About Gavin

My name is Gavin Russell, and I am a Computer Science Major here at NAU. On team RQES, I fill the role of the Backend Engineer. This means I deal with all non-design related code, aka functional code, and play a large role with many of the programming decisions we make!