David Mitlyng for Xairos
A Call for Backup
Since the launch of Sputnik in 1957, the Cold War extended into space.
Today, space is no longer under government control, as Russia is finding out.
While government leaders have to be cautious to avoid escalation, new space has stepped up to provide critical communications and surveillance into Ukraine.
Unfortunately, there is no commercial backup for GPS - yet - and Russia knows this.
Russia has been jamming GPS for decades so it is no surprise that this is happening in Ukraine.
But now there are reports of similar interference in Finland that grounded Finnair flights.
It is no coincidence that this occurred after Finland’s President met with the US President.
All of this illustrates that America needs a commercial GPS backup.
Because, as Forbes points out: "Hoping that GPS will not be targeted is not a plan.”
Last Week's Theme: Space will Not be Held Hostage
- Xairos is raising on Spaced Ventures, a crowdfunding platform dedicated solely to space startups. Held our livestream debut that you can check out here.
- KingsCrowd, an organization dedicated to helping investors "navigate the fragmented market of startup investing", recently assessed Xairos a strong 4.8 out of 5. They score startups on five key metrics, Price, Market, Differentiation, Performance, and Team, "to identify the industry's top investment opportunities".
- Submitted a NASA proposal for a "Cislunar Quantum Clock Synchronization Network," with follow-on proposals in work.
- Attended two investor conferences; Quantum Beach in Miami dedicated to quantum investment, and The Frontier in LA dedicated to new space investment.
- Working on new IP and improvements to our quantum clock synchronization hardware and software.
- Invited to speak in the Quantum track at the Colorado Photonics Industry Association Expo and Gala to be held next month.
- Board of Advisors to be announced soon.
- Preparing for meetings at Satellite 2022 in Washington DC next week. Hit us up if you are attending and interested in meeting.
- As GPS jamming is rampant near the Russia border, military vehicles are trying out “leading-edge quantum equipment” including the “world's first atomic clock of its kind to help ensure pinpoint accuracy”.
- The US military is now preparing to defend the moon. No, seriously. As China and others plan for lunar bases, the US Space Force is planning “to develop a lunar surveillance system, known as the Cislunar Highway Patrol System” and “test a lunar spy satellite known as the Defense Deep Space Sentinel.”
- And when you are sitting on the moon you will need cell service. Nokia is on the case.
- Japanese researchers are proposing a terrestrial location-based services using cell networks that can be used “to serve in tsunami forecasting and earthquake early warning systems.” This could someday be supplemented by very sensitive quantum gravity sensors.
- The Space Entanglement and Annealing QUantum Experiment (SEAQUE) is set to launch to the ISS later this year to test a new type of entangled photon source based on integrated optics and the characterization of radiation effects on single photon detectors. This projects joins a number of other space-based quantum projects that are currently in development.
- SpaceX’s service into Ukraine has impressed the US Space Command, and spurred the EU, India and other groups to recognize the need for space-based communications.
- The US is still looking to strengthen technology competition against China by combining elements of the $250B U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, passed by the US Senate, and the America Competes Act of 2022, passed by the US House, into one bill.
- Satellite 2022, March 21 - 24, Washington DC
- Quantum Business Europe, March 23 - 24, virtual
- Space Symposium, April 4 - 7, Colorado Springs, CO
- Quantum Technologies 2022, April 3 - 7, Strasbourg, France
- Pacific PNT, April 11 - 13, virtual
- Colorado Photonics Industry Association Expo and Gala, April 14, Broomfield CO
- Workshop on Synchronization and Timing Systems, May 9 - 12, Denver, CO
- IQT San Diego, May 10-12, 2022, San Diego
- 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
- Connectivity Business Summit, June 14-15, New York, NY
- Quantum Information Science International Workshop, July 12-14, 2022, New York
- Optics + Photonics, August 21 - 25, San Diego, CA
- ION GNSS+ 2022, September 19 - 23, Denver, CO
- IEEE Quantum Week 2022, September 18 - 23, Broomfield, CO
- Denver Startup Week, September 19-23, Denver, CO
- International Timing and Sync Forum, November 7 - 10, Dusseldorf, UK
- US National PNT Advisory Board, December 9 - 10, Washington DC
On Sunday we had to endure the petty annoyance of adjusting clocks for Daylight Savings Time.
At least our phones, computers, and connected electronics sync automatically.
But what are they actually syncing to?
The GPS master clock.
All electronics use GPS time as reference, with a software correction to match your local time zone, which is tied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the international time standard.
Surprisingly, GPS time differs from UTC by exactly 18 seconds!
This discrepancy comes from leap seconds that are meant to account for changes in the Earth's rotation.
While UTC adds in these leap seconds on an occasional basis, GPS does not.
That is because GPS timing is used in digital networks that cannot handle a one second timing jump.
Since 1980 there have been 18 leap seconds added to UTC that are missing from GPS time.
All of this is described in an entertaining presentation by Dr. Patrizia Tavella, the Director of the Time Department at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures in Sèvres, France.
To learn more, please email us or schedule a meeting here.