Weekly Takeaways-December 1, 2022
Theme of the Week
Did You Know?
On January 21, a similar mysterious GPS outage disrupted flights at Denver International Airport for over thirty hours.
For three days around March 5, flights were disrupted in Finland due to jamming that is suspected to have originated in Russia.
In June 2019 a GPS outage near Salt Lake City nearly caused a passenger airplane accident.
A European program over three years tracked over 450,000 reported GPS outages, of which 59,000 were suspected of being caused by deliberate interference.
No, this the first you are hearing about this?
That is because GPS outages are not systematically tracked, much less reported to the public. The media has started to report on Russia's jamming and threats to blow up GPS as part of their Ukraine coverage. But local outages that are disrupting travel, communications, and power grids, never make it into the news. This spurred the US National PNT Advisory Board to ask the Department of Transportation “to warn the public as soon as possible when GPS services were being disrupted.” As it stands today, there is no incentive to be responsive to commercial users. Conversely, there is no recourse for commercial users impacted by outages. A commercial alternative is needed. Last Week's Theme: A Sputnik Moment
Open collaboration is encouraged to develop a quantum internet, which includes working together on quantum networking test beds. In Tennessee, EPB and Qubitekk announced a test bed for “America’s first industry-led, commercially available quantum network.” In New York, Stony Brook University announced a new Quantum Internet Test Bed. And Singapore just opened a Quantum Networks Experience Centre.
The More You Know...
Last week we highlighted how China is determined to win a new space race with the United States. Consider this:
A US Space Force general warned that China "could catch up and surpass us, absolutely. The progress they've made has been stunning."
China recently announced their lunar and deep space ambitions, including a permanent moon base by 2035. Meanwhile, NASA hopes to get a crew to the moon “as early as 2025 or 2026,” and Europe is planning a lunar lander “capable of routinely dispatching science payloads and cargo to the Moon throughout the 2030s.”
China is the undisputed leader in satellite quantum communications.
To maintain an edge in this race, US government officials are starting to look towards the commercial sector. Earlier this year the US Space Systems Command established the Commercial Services Office with the stated intention to “exploit what we have, buy what we can and only build what we must.” This also includes looking at commercial options for GPS: “We see markets emerging for alternative PNT solutions even though GPS is inherently governmental today.”