David Mitlyng for Xairos
Out with the Old...
Towering above San Francisco is iconic Sutro Tower, a three-legged monument to obsolescence.
Originally built in the 1970s to broadcast TV and radio signals throughout the hilly bay area, it has now been supplanted by cell towers, cables and fiber that provide streaming services.
But it still operates. And even though few people use them, the TV signal is free.
GPS, like Sutro Tower, was also built in the 1970s and provides a free* signal.
And it is also obsolete.
For the general user with a location app it works fine - most of the time.
But, surprisingly, the majority of GPS' value is as a timing signal for communication and data networks.
And it is not nearly secure, resilient or accurate enough for this application.
It's time for something new.
Last Week's Theme: A Present from China
- Working on new proposals ahead of new upcoming releases, including the NASA and DoD 22.1 solicitations.
- Preparing a presentation for Photonics West. Come to the Moscone Center on January 25 for Dr. Troupe's talk: "Global precision time distribution via satellite based entangled photon sources."
- Received a Notice of Publication of Application from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for one of our current patents. Also working on a new patent for submission.
- Offer letters prepared for our Advisory Board. Look for announcements in January.
- Closed another tranche of investment! Announcement coming next week.
- SPIE Photonics West, January 22 - 27, San Francisco, CA
- Inside Quantum Technology The Hague, February 21 - 23, The Hague, Netherlands
- Quantum Information Processing (QIP 2022), March 7 - 11, Pasadena, CA
- Satellite 2022, March 21 - 24, Washington DC
- Quantum Business Europe, March 23 - 24, location TBD
- IEEE International Conference on Space Optical Systems and Applications, March 28 - 31, Kyoto, Japan
- Space Symposium, April 4 - 7, Colorado Springs, CO
- Workshop on Synchronization and Timing Systems, May 9 - 12, Denver, CO
- Photonics for Quantum, June 6 - 9, Rochester, NY
- Quantum.Tech Boston, June 14-15, Boston, MA
- Quantum 2.0 Conference and Exhibition, June 13 - 16, Boston, MA
- IEEE Quantum Week 2022, September 18 - 23, Broomfield, CO
- "Yet another government report detailing bad things that will happen because of our foolish over reliance on GPS for timing." According to a new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), “The impact of a long lasting, widespread GPS outage on mobile phone networks would likely be staggering.”
- According to this report, a "long lasting" GPS outage is only 24 hours. Which is not hard to achieve if you have the right equipment, such as this GPS jammer available on Amazon for only $14.98!
- In the future, we may no longer get our position from GPS - we may get them from 5G signals. At least Qualcomm thinks so.
- China has developed what it calls a Satellite Quantum System in a bid to combat any adversary intrusion into its power infrastructure. Chinese researchers published a paper where they described a drill using Mozi to protect its electric power grid against attacks.
- Remember when the Russia Channel One TV host Dmitry Kiselyov said, “if NATO crosses our red line, it risks losing all 32 of its GPS satellites at once?” Recently he upped the threat against the US and NATO, adding: “Otherwise, everyone will be turned into radioactive ash”.
*So is the GPS signal really free?
For the sake of argument let's ignore the cost to the taxpayer, which is roughly $1.8B a year.
To the consumer using the location app, it is free - though only because your location data is monetized.
But for the enterprise user that needs timing from GPS, the hardware and system costs are very expensive.
Nearly half a million GPS-tied timing boxes are sold a year, ranging in price from a few to tens of thousands of dollars a box.
A basic design meets older 4G timing standards with no holdover (backup in case of a GPS outage).
More expensive designs meet newer 5G timing standards and/or provides up to 48 hour holdover.
On top of this, telcos and data centers spend lots of time and capital to ensure the timing stability and performance of their networks.
But they are running up against the natural (and two decade old) limits that the "free" GPS system can provide.
To learn more, please email us or schedule a meeting here.