Weekly Takeaways-May 10, 2022
Theme of the Week
Turning a Supertanker Requires a Tug Boat Last week the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board held their semi-annual meeting. The 29 non-government GPS experts met to provide “independent advice to the U.S. government on GPS-related policy, planning, program management, and funding profiles.” They also acknowledged the challenge of effecting change. The fundamental problem is that GPS is critical to many stakeholders with different needs. The Open PNT Industry Alliance (OPIA), another GPS advocacy group, took a different tack. Their 21 corporate members released a statement recommending an alternative solution leveraging commercial technology. There is finally a realization that commercial companies “can move with the speed and urgency that the DoD now requires” and “national security is inexorably intertwined with commercial technology." Last Week's Theme: We Built a Glass House before the Invention of Stones
In light of the Russian hacks of Starlink and Viasat, the Satellite Cybersecurity Act was proposed to help “the commercial satellite sector improve the security of their networks.”
In addition to providing communications into Ukraine, commercial satellite operators are delivering images of war crimes from space.
A new Executive Order was signed to speed up quantum development in the US, highlighting that "recent breakthroughs in QIS have shown the potential to drive innovations across the American economy, from energy to medicine, through advancements in computation, networking and sensing.”
In addition the Executive Order, the National Strategy Memorandum was signed into law “to maintain the Nation’s competitive advantage in quantum information science (QIS)," and “ensure that we leapfrog well ahead of everyone else.” It mentioned a White House report that estimated that governments spent $20B on quantum research globally, and now another $2.5 billion in private US investments into 100 American quantum start-up companies, over the last decade.
New international quantum research partnerships are accelerating, including the NATO Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA), the US, UK and Australia AUKUS Quantum Arrangement, Horizon Europe, and the US and Finland Cooperation in Quantum Information Science and Technology.
As part of the DIANA initiative, NATO is setting up a 1B Euro NATO Innovation Fund to invest in startups with “emerging and disruptive technologies that NATO has identified as the first priorities including: artificial intelligence, big-data processing, quantum-enabled technologies, autonomy, biotechnology, novel materials and space.”
A IEEE article outlines a range of amazing applications for quantum sensors, including Covid detection, gravity mapping, and brain scanning.
Workshop on Synchronization and Timing Systems, May 9 - 12, Denver, CO
IQT San Diego, May 10-12, 2022, San Diego and virtual
Commercialising Quantum, May 17 - 19, London, UK and virtual
ISC High Performance 2022, May 29- June 2, Hamburg, Germany
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, the Broomfield, CO
Tough Tech Summit, October 27 - 28, Boston, MA
International Timing and Sync Forum, November 7 - 10, Dusseldorf, UK
The More You Know...
How did GPS get to a dominant position in commercial receivers for the world? GPS came first, but there are newer navigation systems like Galileo, BeiDou, and QZSS that claim to offer better accuracy. The majority of consumer devices contain a chip that acquires GPS first, then may use other signals to better hone their accuracy. GPS has a C/A code that "is almost perfectly designed for good acquisition sensitivity...that’s why GPS dominates the GNSS landscape." When a positioning device (like your smartphone) connects to a network, the additional data provides assisted positioning from these other sources. But Moore's law is in effect - as processing power gets cheaper, GPS leadership may be ceded to these other sources.