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  • Writer's pictureDAVID MITLYNG

Weekly Takeaways-May 19,2022

Theme of the Week

The Dawn of Time (Synchronization) The need for accurate clocks goes back to the days of the ancient mariner. But accurate synchronization between many clocks is a recent necessity. Digital networks rely on precisely synchronized nodes to efficiently route digital bits, like traffic through a congested intersection. This wasn’t necessary for early communication networks. Then came synchronous optical networking (SONET) and other network protocols in the 1980s. They required synchronization using time distribution tied to a Primary Reference Clock (PRC). Fortunately there was a clock available from GPS, which conveniently opened up for civilian use at the time. Today’s networks have only gotten more complicated, requiring an alphabet soup of standards and protocols to achieve more accurate and resilient timing. But GPS still remains the accidental reference clock. Last Week's Theme: Turning a Supertanker Requires a Tug Boat

Industry News


The More You Know...

The economic value of GPS was highlighted at a Geospatial World Forum panel last week. "In 2021, GNSS & EO downstream market generated 200 billion euros in revenues and are set to reach almost half a trillion over the next decade," according to Rodrigo da Costa, Executive Director at EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA). "Just in the US alone, GPS is approaching $1T in terms of economic impact and is doubling every 2-3 years. But it is a single point of failure," agreed Gillian Smith, Vice President of Marketing at NextNav. Separate reports estimate that a GPS outage would cost the US economy $1B a day, and the UK economy over 1B GBP per day. And even though GPS is so embedded in our modern world, there are drawbacks. Recent news that Russian fighter pilots are using GPS receivers explains why some within the military are reluctant to give better performance to commercial devices.


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