Nano-synchronization: Foundation for the next wave

Because nano-synchronization is the least known technology and sounds very exotic, a short explanation can help create the foundation for exploring its applications.

GPS signals are transmitted from multiple satellites to make localization anywhere on the globe possible. To make this possible, not only must the position of the satellites relative to each other and to the earth be known extremely precisely, but to make this possible, the time must also be known with high precision. Thus GPS signals also carry extremely precise clock information in the form a “heartbeat” of one pulse per second, a signal whose absolute time is known globally with an accuracy of better than 100 ns.

The genius of GPS technology is that this timing information is automatically corrected for the delay of the radio signals to travel from the satellites to ground, and includes complex effects of the different layers of the atmosphere, the rotation of the earth, and Einstein’s general and special relativity theories relating to moving objects and time. But the bottom line is simply, no matter where you are, you can set clock with an accuracy of better than 100 ns.

To a naïve consumer, this doesn’t seem to matter, because he says no practical applications other than setting his watch reasonably accurately so he won’t wake up late in the morning or miss an important airline flight. But by digging deeper, we will discover the possibility for applications that can fundamentally change the way our society works.

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