• David Mitlyng

Weekly Takeaways-July 29, 2022

Theme of the Week

Timing is Everything GPS was the borne out of the space age nearly a half a century ago. But for two decades we have known that something better is needed. Now, with the advancement of four core technologies, the conditions are ripe:

  1. Cheap access to space

  2. Commercial quantum communication systems

  3. The golden age of atomic clocks

  4. Ubiquitous space-based optical communications hardware

The need for a better global timing system has been around since networks went digital. But you can't bake the perfect cake until the ingredients are ready. Timing is everything. Last Week's Theme: How to Transfer Time

Industry News

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The More You Know...

All networks rely on timing from GPS. So what happens when GPS goes down? Well, you hope it comes back online. And quickly. An outage of more than a few hours would result in the degradation, then loss, of the network. If you want your networks to last more than a few hours, you need to build in resiliency against an outage, known as holdover. And that can get expensive. There are a number of ways to do this, using multiple sources of timing independent of GPS. The two main options:

  • Add very stable clocks, or multiple spatially separated GPS receivers, throughout the network. But that requires additional hardware as well as the design of a timing network.

  • Buy a box that has multiple stable clocks disciplined to the GPS timing signal when it is available. But these units are expensive - exotic car expensive.