Theme of the Week
Four Core Beliefs The problem we are solving is informed by these central tenets:
GPS is NOT good enough. GPS is trivially easy to jam with accuracy topping out at 30 nanoseconds. 5G and 6G communications, data centers, quantum networks, and self-driving vehicles need better.
GPS is NOT free. Sure, your location app may be free (though, is it really?). But enterprise network users spend billions of dollars a year on timing units linked to GPS.
GPS WILL be replaced - There is already funding allocated for a GPS replacement, with calls to incentivize a commercial replacement so the military has their own dedicated system. This is the New Space paradigm - commercial systems breaking the government lock on space. This has already started for rockets, imagery, space tourism and stations, and lunar bases - now it is time for GPS.
Last Week's Theme: Long Distance Synchronization
“To cheaply go: How falling launch costs fueled a thriving economy in orbit” article argues that new space was enabled by cheaper commercial launch options. “Twenty years ago, space launches were a very government-dominated capability,” according to the systems director for the Center for Space Policy and Strategy at The Aerospace Corp.
“'They're Jamming Everything': Putin's Electronic Warfare Turns Tide of War” describes how Russia is just starting to effectively use their electronic warfare capabilities, with “jamming of GPS receivers on drones that Ukraine uses to locate the enemy and direct artillery fire is particularly intense.”
Chinese officials found a GPS jamming device near a sensitive rocket launch facility, spreading concern that it was an attempted act of sabotage. Though it is unclear if that was the intent or whether it would actually disrupt rocket navigation.
Singapore announced a National Quantum-Safe Network (NQSN) consisting of ten fiber connected network nodes “to provide robust cybersecurity for critical infrastructure including communication systems for governments, critical infrastructure such as energy grids, and companies handling sensitive data in areas such as healthcare and finance.” Singapore has been a leader in quantum development, and also leads in per capita venture capital investment.
In addition to quantum links over fiber, there are a number of quantum drone demonstrations in work. KT has demonstrated quantum key distribution from drones in South Korea, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is developing quantum links between drones, and China’s Nanjing University demonstrated entangled photon distribution between drones.
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, Rome, NY
Small Satellite Conference, August 6 - 11, Logan, Utah
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
Tough Tech Summit, October 27 - 28, Boston, MA
International Timing and Sync Forum, November 7 - 10, Dusseldorf, UK
The More You Know...
What is the impact of a prolonged GPS outage? A oft-cited 2019 report estimated the impact at $1B a day, or roughly 1.7% of the US GDP. But that seems very low considering the resultant loss of ATMs, financial transactions, communications, and eventually power. Even local outages can wreak havoc for travel. Flights have been grounded due to local GPS jamming in Europe, and a recent study found that the impact of intentional GPS jamming “means that aircraft need to accommodate greater safety margins, thus forcing greater separation between aircraft on adjacent routes.” The author of “Pinpoint – How GPS is Changing Technology, Culture and Our Minds” frames the impact of a GPS outage like so: “What’s the value of oxygen?”