Weekly Takeaways-November 1, 2021
Updated: Mar 11, 2022
Who You Gonna Call? It is well known that GPS is an Achilles' heel for our modern world. All networks, communications, and power grids rely on the timing signal from GPS. But GPS goes down. A lot. And when it does go down, imagine you are the poor network engineer frantically working to keep your system online. Who do you call? Well, you can submit a report through the GPS.gov website. Good luck with that. What you need is a network time provider that will actually answer the phone. SES, a leading satellite operator, has set up a satellite quantum communications R&D lab.
The recent launch of a secretive Chinese debris removal satellite has fueled speculation that it is actually a "satellite crushing weapon."
Not that you need to actually destroy GPS satellites to disable GPS. It is trivially easy to jam a GPS signal, but spoofing - using a fake GPS signal to deceive the time and/or location at a receiver - is harder. But not that hard.
Sandia Labs has developed a quantum sensor that may one day lead to “navigating without GPS.”
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Stanford University and Purdue University “developed and demonstrated a novel, fully functional quantum local area network, or QLAN” that is step “on the path toward the highly anticipated quantum internet.”
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a "Quantum Computing and Communications" technology assessment report.
One of the side benefits of building a space-based timing network with quantum links is that provides the foundation for a future quantum network.
The GAO report estimates that small quantum networks "could be developed in the next 5 to 10 years at a cost of $50 to $100 million" and that "Quantum communications technologies that are demonstrated in the next 5 years may be foundational technologies that enable quantum networks, such as...space-based entanglement distribution systems could start development."