aerosols, Atomic clocks, China, climate change, communications, environment, Europe, financial services, FSB, GAO, Germany, GPS, hybrid warfare, IT, Japan, Marine storm warnings, morse code, Music, NIST, NWS, pollution, radio, radio-navigation system, Russia, solar activity, Synchronization, Synchronizing clocks, telecommunications, transportation, tuning, tuning instruments, UK, UTC
Trump is facilitating Russian hybrid warfare with this move: defunding ground-based backup for GPS in the communications, financial, and other sectors. Russia, Europe, China and Japan have their own backup but the US and many other countries depend on the more powerful worldwide US system. It also means that many home clocks and watches won’t work, though that should be the least of our worries.
The so-called atomic clocks are not based on ionizing radiation, but rather on the behavior of stable cesium 133 atoms: “at large critical communication nodes (e.g., mobile wireless and wireline-switching centers, satellite control centers), atomic clocks are often deployed to backup GPS… According to Department of the Treasury officials, the financial services sector primarily relies on atomic clocks to time-stamp financial transactions; GPS is used as a secondary timing source in the communications protocols of these transactions.” (GAO)
Don Sullivan explained to VOA that: “it is an important backup to GPS in case adversaries attempt to interfere with the satellite radio-navigation system.” (See VOA Article below).
A White House petition states: “Additionally, these stations transmit marine storm warnings from the National Weather Service, GPS satellite health reports, and specific information concerning current solar activity, and radio propagation conditions. These broadcasts are an essential resource to the worldwide communications industry.”
The Atomic Clock-NIST radio service can also be used in navigation.
Update note: Financial services are apparently now connected to the NIST Atomic clock via internet. However, the radio version would still provide an additional backup. More importantly, there are a range of unknowns as to what the impacts are of cutting off WWVB. How many traffic lights, timers related to power plants, etc., are dependent upon WWVB and which may fall out of sync over a period of months after it is turned off? What are the repercussions? This could pass unnoticed until too late. A study of the impacts needs to be done before the service is cut off. Commenters online have compared it to the unknowns associated with the change from 1999 to 2000 on computers. That was widely noticed and addressed, but this is passing mostly unnoticed.
Signing the petition is good, but impeach Trump yesterday, already! What’s wrong with the Dem-wits who refuse to understand the imperative of impeaching Trump ASAP?
White House petition (Note that WWVB is included in cuts, though not mentioned in the petition)
“WE THE PEOPLE ASK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE OR EXPLAIN A POSITION ON AN ISSUE OR POLICY:
Maintain funding for NIST stations WWV & WWVH
Created by T.K. on August 16, 2018
Sign This Petition
Needs 86,345 signatures by September 15, 2018 to get a response from the White House 13,655 SIGNED 100,000 GOAL
NIST station WWV and sister stations are among the oldest radio stations in the United States, having been in continuous operation since May 1920. The station has transmitted the official US Time for nearly 100 years, and is an instrumental part in the telecommunications field, ranging from broadcasting to scientific research and education. Additionally, these stations transmit marine storm warnings from the National Weather Service, GPS satellite health reports, and specific information concerning current solar activity, and radio propagation conditions. These broadcasts are an essential resource to the worldwide communications industry. This petition requests continued funding of these stations be maintained into the 21st century and beyond to ensure future operations.” https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/maintain-funding-nist-stations-wwv-wwvh
Another example of something which Trump did to undermine safety, proving that impeachment should have been started immediately: On February 2, 2017, the Trump administration lifted sanctions which blocked the Russian FSB from getting the latest Information Technology (IT) products/ updates. Access to updates, etc., due to the lifting of sanctions facilitates Russian hacking of the US and Europe. The Trump administration seems to be effectively inviting Russia’s security services (FSB) to do more hacking. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/3-trump-policies-which-facilitate-future-tampering-with-us-elections-by-russia/
According to GAO: “examples of strategies to mitigate GPS disruptions for aspects of sector operations, as follows: Communications. The communications sector, which uses GPS to synchronize timing of communications and for location-based services, employs a range of strategies to mitigate GPS disruptions. For example, at large critical communication nodes (e.g., mobile wireless and wireline-switching centers, satellite control centers), atomic clocks are often deployed to backup GPS…. Financial services. According to Department of the Treasury officials, the financial services sector primarily relies on atomic clocks to time-stamp financial transactions; GPS is used as a secondary timing source in the communications protocols of these transactions. In the event of a GPS disruption, Treasury officials noted that the financial services sector has a risk management process in place, which includes hardware, software, and operational procedures to detect and mitigate any disruptions in communications…” Excerpt from: “GPS DISRUPTIONS: Efforts to Assess Risks to Critical Infrastructure and Coordinate Agency Actions Should Be Enhanced” https://www.gao.gov/assets/660/658792.pdf There probably needs to be more funding, not less.
“Time May Be Running Out for Millions of Clocks
Last Updated: September 02, 2018 11:38 AM, by Steve Herman
WHITE HOUSE —
President Donald Trump’s administration wants to shut down U.S. government radio stations that announce official time, a service in operation since World War II.
WWV and WWVB in the state of Colorado and WWVH on the island of Kauai in the mid-Pacific state of Hawaii, send out signals that allow millions of clocks and watches to be set either manually or automatically.
WWVB continuously broadcasts digital time codes, using very long electromagnetic waves at a frequency of 60 kilohertz, which are automatically received by timekeeping devices in North America, keeping them accurate to a fraction of a second.
“If you shut down these stations, you turn off all those clocks,” said Don Sullivan, who managed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) stations between 1994 and 2005.
GPS not good enough
Some argue the terrestrial time signal have been rendered obsolete by the government’s Global Positioning System, whose satellites also transmit time signals, but users disagree, noting GPS devices must have an unobstructed view of a number of satellites in space to properly function.
“Sixty kilohertz permeates in a way GPS can’t,” Sullivan told VOA, explaining that WWVB’s very low frequency signal can be received inside buildings and it is an important backup to GPS in case adversaries attempt to interfere with the satellite radio-navigation system.
A cesium “atomic clock” at WWV in Colorado. One second is defined as the period of the transition between two energy levels of the ground state of the Cesium-133 atom, making cesium oscillators the primary standard for time and frequency measurements.
WWV and WWVH broadcast on a number of shortwave frequencies, meaning their signals can be received globally.
The Trump administration proposes, in its Fiscal 2019 budget to Congress, cutting $26.6 million and 136 jobs from NIST’s fundamental measurements, quantum science and measurement dissemination activities.
The budget document acknowledges that in addition to synchronizing clocks and watches, the time signals are also used in appliances, cameras and irrigation controllers.
“It’s crazy,” Sullivan said of the proposed cut. “It’s absolutely insane.”
NIST officials say they cannot comment on budget matters. The White House referred questions about NIST’s funding to the Office of Management and Budget, which has not responded to an inquiry from VOA.
Oldest continuously operating radio station
WWV, the oldest continuously operating radio station in the United States, first went on the air from Washington in 1919, conducting propagation experiments and playing music. In the early years, it also transmitted — via Morse code — news reports prepared by the Agriculture Department.
The station subsequently was moved to Maryland and then to Colorado in 1966. WWV has been a frequency standard since 1922 and has disseminated official U.S. time since 1944.
All of the NIST stations rely on extremely precise atomic clocks for the accuracy of their time signals.
WWV, at two minutes past every hour, also transmits a 440 hertz note (A above middle C), something it has done since 1936, allowing musicians to tune their pianos and other instruments.
All three stations retain a huge following worldwide, according to Sullivan.
WWV and WWVH broadcasts can also be heard by telephone and about 2,000 calls are received daily, according to NIST. (To listen to the broadcasts by phone, dial +1-303-499-7111 for WWV and +1-808-335-4363 for WWVH.)
The telephone time-of-day service also is used to synchronize clocks and watches, and for the calibration of stopwatches and timers (although slightly less accurate than radio reception).
Tom Kelly, an amateur radio operator in the state of Oregon, has launched a petition to try to save the stations. His goal is to collect 100,000 online signatures from U.S. residents by September 15 that would compel a response from the White House.
Kelly’s petition calls the stations “an instrumental part in the telecommunications field, ranging from broadcasting to scientific research and education,” noting their transmissions of marine storm warnings, GPS satellite health reports and specific information about solar activity and radio propagation conditions.
Britain, China, Germany, Japan and Russia also have very low frequency time transmissions, but their stations are too distant to automatically set clocks in the United States.
Among other proposed cuts for NIST are its environmental measurement projects measuring the impact of aerosols on pollution and climate change and gas reference materials used by industry to reduce costs of complying with regulations and the Urban Dome research grants for determining how to measure greenhouse gas emissions for cities and across regions.” https://www.voanews.com/a/time-may-be-running-out-for-millions-of-clocks/4554376.html
“GPS DISRUPTIONS: Efforts to Assess Risks to Critical Infrastructure and Coordinate Agency Actions Should Be Enhanced
EMPHASIS OUR OWN THROUGHOUT.