How can an atomic clock assist in a global positioning system?

atomic clockFor over many Centuries, sailors and explorers tried to discover a system that would accurately tell them their position and to avoid risks and accidents while on voyages. In the year 1993, with the creation of GPS, a 24-satellite network, the most viable answer for this problem was attained. Today, GPS systems are affordable at only few hundred bucks and have proved to be of excellent support to mankind. The GPS technology in turn, derives its effectiveness, power, and precision from the atomic clock. This clock is exact to a billionth of a second. The atomic clock has been conceived on the premise that the magnetic resonance of atomic beams may be used to compute time. The precision that has been achieved by calculating time thus went on to improve the functionalities of the Global Positioning System. The manufacturers of the atomic clock likely didn’t fathom that their creation would have such far-reaching consequences.

Atomic clock uses an atomic resonance frequency standard for accurate time keeping. You must however, do not forget that the principles on which this clock functions isn’t based on nuclear science, as its name implies, but on exact microwave signals. The early atomic clock has been powered by MASERs Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation; the modern-day version is driven by absorption spectroscopy of cold molecules placed in atomic fountains.

Because of their Precision, these clocks made of ceasium or rubidium are used onboard a space shuttle using GPS satellites. Time is calculated to within approximately 50 nanoseconds and then mathematically transformed to three complete coordinates of space and a single coordinate of time. These precision GPSs can also be utilized in computer networks, scientific laboratories, and in several types of communication systems. They are used by airliners to navigate while ships use this system to locate their way safely across oceans. They are also used by emergency medical vehicles to find their way through the maze of roads in a large city. Now this system is used to detect strange rumblings within the bowel of the planet and issue earthquake alarms.

AnĀ atomic clock may be purchased from online stores at attractive prices. However, you must be very cautious when purchasing such a clock; do not fall for discounted prices only. A real atomic clock should be accurate to a Nano-fraction of a second. When buying, check that the clock is providing such precise times. There was a Counter-proposal in the ITU meeting it’s far better to leave things as they are and continue inserting a leap-second a couple of times per year, wait for a few hundred years to add a leap-hour. The technology is in place now to take care of the problem by adding leap-seconds. By waiting a few hundred years to add a leap-hour, we would be thinking on un-tried technology in as un-built atomic clocks, which have much more potential for mischief than continuing with the present system.