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Optical Clock Tested in Space

Optical Clock Tested in Space

Telecom DataIn our previous postings, we have covered many interesting and very imaginative applications that are unique to the GIS world.  Today, we explore an even more innovative idea: the Atomic Clock.  But, what exactly is it?

According to Wikipedia, it can be defined as “ . . . a device that uses an electronic transition frequency in the microwave, optical, or ultraviolet region[2] of the electromagnetic spectrum of atoms as a frequency standard for its timekeeping element.” 

These are deemed to be the most accurate clocks in the world (even more so than the iPhone).  Just last week, it was announced that an Atomic Clock has been launched into outer space.  The primary purpose of this is to allow for GIS-based systems to provide for centimeter-level location precision for the people who use GPS mobile apps.

The GIS vendor who created and developed this Atomic Clock is known as Menlow Systems, Gmbh, based out of Germany.  According to Matthias Lezius, a scientist in the business, “Our device represents a cornerstone in the development of future space-based precision clocks and metrology… The optical clock performed the same in space as it had on the ground, showing that our system engineering worked very well.

In fact, this Atomic Clock is deemed to be 1,000 times more accurate than any other clock.  There are many applications which can use this kind of technology, for example:

  • Predicting earthquakes with much greater time accuracy. Because of this, authorities will be able to send out evacuation warnings in enough time for the public to evacuate and avoid any human losses.
  • Also, weather patterns and upcoming storms can be forecasted hours ahead of time. This will be particularly useful for the Great Plain and the Midwest region here in the United States, where tornadoes are very common.
  • The global remote sensing of greenhouse effect based gases can also be predicted, which is a major threat to agricultural production all over the world.

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 6,000 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

Valerie Stephen