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  • Writer's pictureDAVID MITLYNG

Weekly Takeaways-November 15, 2021

Updated: Mar 11, 2022

Before you can settle into your new moon base, you need to have an accurate moon clock.

Lunar and deep space missions all need accurate time synchronization over very long distances to function properly.

For one, it is key enabler for the planned Cislunar Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) network.

This isn't needed for driving directions (yet), but it is necessary for getting to the moon safely: maneuvers, rendezvous operations and docking; entry, descent, and landing; and surface operations all require accurate position and timing.

Timing is also critical for lunar and deep space navigation and scientific missions, including mapping the gravity of the moon.

So once you are settled in: is one day on the moon 24 hours or 29.5 Earth days?

Optical communications has become commonplace on satellites, including SpaceX’s Starlink, Telesat’s Lightspeed, SpaceLink, and is a key component for our system. But these systems were enabled by NASA, who will hold a livestream Tuesday of their 1.2 Gbps GEO-to-ground Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD).

Previously it was noted that there was speculation that a Chinese debris removal satellite may be a "satellite crushing weapon." Well, now a mysterious object has been spotted alongside the satellite that “could be used to test rendezvous and proximity operations, refueling experiments or manipulation using a robotic arm or other means.”

Can better timing synchronization help reduce carbon emissions?

Consider that synchronization improves the efficiency of data centers reducing their energy consumption, which is estimated to account for between 1 percent to 3.5 percent of the total worldwide carbon emissions.

This was discussed at last week's 2021 OCP Global Summit, where Facebook and NVIDIA claimed that a "recent test showed that making the timekeeping 80x more precise (making any time discrepancies 80x smaller) made a distributed database run 3x faster — an incredible performance boost on the same server hardware, just from keeping more accurate and more reliable time."


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