While America celebrated Independence Day, the rest of the world was declaring its own form of independence.
Not long ago space was the domain of a few countries and international consortiums. But there is a new Space Race brewing that is reshaping the landscape. The new space era has reduced access to space by two orders of magnitude and has spawned demand for sovereign space systems. To wit:
- China, Europe, and the US are now rushing to establish manned colonies on the moon.
- China and Europe announced new mega-constellations to compete with Starlink and other US systems.
- The US, Europe, China, India, Japan, and Russia have their own large launch vehicles, even as Europe retires their venerable Ariane 5 rocket.
- China has their own space station Tiangong that recently started hosting global experiments.
- Numerous countries are developing a global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to replace GPS (see below).
But the real shift is the break from dependence on governments, as commercial space companies have taken over activities traditionally done by government agencies.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: space belongs to everyone.
Last Week's Theme: Time-of-Flight
- Presented at the World of Quantum in Munich and attended the Q4I conference last week.
- Preparing for upcoming presentations for Time Appliances Project on July 19, APSCC in October, and the International Timing and Sync Forum in November.
- Following up from meetings at the Q4I conference, Quantum 2.0 Conference and European Navigation Conference, with new partnerships in work.
- Working on proposals, expanding our proof-of-concept into a proper testbed, and developing new IP.
- Next Investor Session in the works, with webinar registration information coming soon.
- The sun has broken out into the largest number of sunspots in two decades, sparking concerns about solar storms. The last time it was this bad, “satellite operators lost track of hundreds of spacecraft for several days,” and there are now nearly ten times as many satellites in orbit.
- With the increase of solar activity, you can prepare with a Space Weather Impact on GNSS webinar and subscribe to the NOAA Space Weather alerts so you will get some advance warning of the next Carrington Event.
- Estonia has joined the list of European countries in reporting GPS interference likely coming from Russian jamming.
- Hackers have now found a new target: GPS and other GNSS receivers. And if you ever wanted to hack a satellite, here’s your chance – sign up now for the Hack-A-Sat 4 competition.
- The Japan Air Self-Defense Force announced it “is expanding its operations in space” to protect their satellites “from “junk,” “killers” and “stalkers.””
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced their own plans to launch a quantum satellite that will demonstrate Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), joining China, UK, Europe, and Singapore in that exclusive club.
- Quantum technology has the capability transform a lot of industries, including heavy industry, logistics, finance, and transportation, energy applications, and materials development.
- Want to learn more about GPS and Galileo? Here’s a good article talking about the history and design of GPS, and a resource on the future of PNT.
GPS remains the dominant GNSS, with nearly 8 billion receivers worldwide (one for every human on Earth), and a foundational role in all modern travel, communications, and network infrastructure.
But that ubiquity has a downside. A large-scale outage would wreak havoc with transportation, financial markets, communication networks and power grids across the globe, which has spurred other countries to declare independence from GPS.
China recalled their “Unforgettable Humiliation” as an incentive to build BeiDou. India’s break was triggered by “US denial of GPS during the Kargil Conflict in 1999.” Europe is concerned that 10% of their GDP relies on a system with “inherent shortcomings which could be compromised by a malicious actor.”
A new European report is tracking new development efforts in Europe (Galileo), China (BeiDou), Russia (GLONASS), Japan (QZSS), India (IRNSS), UK, Korea (KASS), and Africa (ANGA).
And even in the US there is a push is to develop a commercial GNSS solution to “take the bullseye off of GPS.”
To learn more, please email us or schedule a meeting here.