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A PATH TO THE FUTURE: Governments and network operators worldwide are looking for a more accurate GPS alternative to enable technologies such as 6G, autonomous vehicles, and quantum networks. Xairos’ POC has demonstrated time synchronization that is >1,000x more accurate than GPS, solving a considerable problem for new technologies and applications.
FREEDOM FROM OUTAGES: GPS represents a single point of failure for critical national infrastructure. Our patented technology is highly advanced and secure, eliminating the hacking and signal jamming to which GPS is prone. With our system we expect to reduce expensive outages that disrupt travel, degrade network performance, and even eliminate national threats like the interference from Russia in Ukraine.*
MASSIVE MARKET POTENTIAL: GPS alone is a very significant global opportunity with an estimated multi-billion dollar commercial and government market.* We have completed initial revenue contracts with government agencies with more in development. Both quantum and position, navigation and timing (PNT) research have been identified as priorities by the US government, putting Xairos in excellent position to access billions of dollars of new funding as we build our commercial system.*
With Xairos’ global timing service we aim to realize the tech-filled future we all imagine – self-driving cars, delivery drones, flying taxis, 6G terabyte-per-second surfing speeds, and more. This is a future GPS cannot support. Government agencies and network operators worldwide recognize the limitations of GPS and are looking for solutions. Techstars, US Air Force, and NASA believe in the technology and vision being developed by Xairos. Our team and board of advisors are composed of leading quantum, timing, and space experts who can execute on our vision to develop a global timing service that dramatically improves on GPS.
Xairos is building a global timing service that represents a disruptive improvement to GPS. Despite its name, GPS isn’t about maps; it’s about time. Most of the world’s networks, financial transactions, and power grids rely on timing from GPS (source). But GPS is a 50-year-old technology that is not nearly accurate or resilient enough for modern networks.
The Problem & Our Solution
GPS is currently a single point of failure for networks and power grids (source). Due to its weak radio frequency signal, GPS is highly vulnerable to jamming and spoofing, with hundreds of thousands of local outages reported each year (source). If GPS failed for a sustained period, it is estimated that it would create economic losses per day of $1B in the US and £1B in the UK (source & source).
Security of a timing signal is integral to the infrastructure of the USA and other democracies (source). The quantum properties of the Xairos time signal significantly enhances security and resiliency for governments and critical industries. For example, our highly secure time signal could support Ukraine infrastructure despite Russian interference and consistent efforts to jam GPS over the country.
Importantly, the US Government has recognized this problem and is now in the process of considering options to improve resiliency of national infrastructure and is looking for solutions from the private sector.
GPS is not accurate enough
GPS worked for 4G and even 5G – enabling a multi-trillion industry to take shape (source). However, GPS is limited to an accuracy of 30 nanoseconds and cannot enable future technologies. In contrast, Xairos has picosecond-level accuracy, an over 1,000x improvement.
This enables new technologies that require better timing accuracy than GPS – including for autonomous vehicles, quantum networks, 6G, and more. Once our global timing service is in place, we have the foundation for the future quantum network.
* The US Quantum Satellite is a planned future event, & the Commercial distribution through existing players is a planned future event.
The Market & Our Traction
Since its inception, GPS is estimated to have created over $1.4 trillion in economic benefit and is expected to be almost a $500B market by 2031 (source & source). Timing and synchronization units tied to GPS is already a mature multi-billion dollar market with nearly half a million units sold per year (source).
6G communications, data centers, quantum networks, and self-driving vehicles require more accurate and secure timing in order to be optimized. Xairos can provide a pathway for this technology by allowing companies and governments to synchronize clocks within their networks at a level of accuracy that is >1,000x better than GPS, increasing security and resilience.
We’ve generated market interest
Xairos is ready to build a testbed and start addressing commercial opportunities ahead of launching our first satellite. We’ve identified numerous pilot projects in the United States and Europe for our initial system deployment, and are currently developing material partnerships across the globe.
Our Traction and Achievements
We have already built a proof-of-concept demonstrating that our quantum technology significantly outperforms timing from GPS. Our core technology is covered with two patents and three new provisional patents (and growing). These patents are exclusive and IP is owned or licensed only by Xairos.
Xairos is on pace to continue growing, having closed over $1 million in seed funding, a $250,000 grant from the State of Colorado, and contracts of $500,000 from NASA, US Air Force, and US Navy. Some of our investors include Techstars, Qubits Ventures, Break Off Capital, and Spaced Ventures.
We have strong commercial and research partnerships and are continuing with our technical, commercial, and grant funding partnerships in the US, Europe, and Asia. Our goal is to build, launch and operate America’s first quantum satellite.
We are on a mission to launch America’s first quantum satellite with our patented technology that will replace GPS and pave the way for future technologies, including 6G, autonomous vehicles, and quantum networks.
GPS cannot advance to support the evolution of technology and applications that are driving human activity. There is already US funding allocated for a GPS replacement (source), with calls to incentivize a commercial replacement so the US military has their own dedicated system (source). In the “New Space” paradigm governments are giving way to the private sector for innovative space technologies - including rockets, imagery, space tourism and stations, and lunar bases. This democratization of space has helped advance society while building strong businesses, as witnessed by SpaceX’s record $140 billion valuation. Now it is GPS’ turn…now is the time for Xairos.
Please join us to enable the advancement of future technologies and protect critical national infrastructure.
We are a space and technology company that is revolutionizing time synchronization. To date, Xairos has raised over $1.3 million which has been used to successfully build a proof-of-concept (POC) demonstrating our patented quantum technology. Our system aims to enable a new generation of technologies that require orders of magnitude better accuracy and security than GPS can deliver. We are currently pre-revenue generation.
Roger's work has been featured in media including the Washington Post, Federal Computing Week, Washington Technology, Government Security News, Washington Business Journal and is a frequent invited panelist at government and industry events. He is a Next Generation Fellow of The American Assembly, Cybersecurity Working Group Chair for Open Source for America, DHS Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) Council of Peers and a Global CEO Mentor for the Founder Institute.
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We all have a general idea about what it means to be secure.
If you boil it down, security relies on meeting three key elements: confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
Securing data is the focus of a multi-trillion dollar cybersecurity industry and the push towards a zero trust architecture.
But what about securing time?
All networks, financial transactions, and power grids rely on a common time source that, if disrupted, would be catastrophic.
Confidentiality isn’t a concern; after all, you want everyone to know the time.
But availability – having access to that time reference – and integrity - being assured the time is correct – are very important.
For most commercial users, this time reference is sourced via satellite through RF signals that can be easily jammed (removing integrity) and spoofed (removing authentication).
Fortunately, authentication concerns can be addressed through quantum communications.
Quantum communication systems that manipulate the quantum properties of photons were developed for the secure distribution of encryption keys, known as quantum key distribution (QKD).
The hardware and some of the underlining security protocols developed for QKD can also be applied for secure time distribution, effectively creating a trusted and authenticated time reference.
This opens the door to a whole new paradigm for a future secure time network using entangled photons.
This week's newsletter is part of a series on how Xairos can deliver a truly secure and resilient PNT network. Last newsletter described the difference between resiliency and security, this newsletter explores the concept of secure time, and future newsletters will describe the move towards resilient timing architecture. specific use cases and implementation, and how Xairos' technology is the solution. A recent QED-C Quantum Marketplace presentation discussed how critically important timing is for network security, even more so than QKD and other cybersecurity measures. After all, what good is encryption when the network is down?
Check out our latest newsletter to learn more about secure time as well as:
Looking beyond GPS and examining the present and future of position/navigation/timing (PNT) technology, including dual-use space startups developing satellite constellations that can provide more accurate and more secure PNT than GPS. Xairos is developing next-gen PNT via quantum technology.
Hear all about new satellites that will provide the backbone for quantum clock synchronization – and more! Xairos founder David Mitlyng shares some history, other applications, and why microseconds matter for timing! Listen in or read below to find out what this means, how it works, and why it’s imp
Quantum technology is a growing field, and its subset, quantum communications, has many applications within the space industry. On a recent episode of Constellations Podcast, David Mitlyng joined John Gilroy to explain the growing field of quantum communications.
Been a busy few months as Xairos has been featured at a number of space, quantum, and futurology events. Many of these were recorded so check these out:
We are also planning for our next investor webinar so stay tuned!
Xairos was selected as one of nine companies to be featured during the America's Seed Fund Startup Expo!
"The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide over $4 billion in funding to small businesses each year" to nearly 4000 companies a year, and hundreds applied to be featured in the Expo.
Of these, Xairos was one of only nine companies selected "as a shining example of how public-private partnerships through programs such as America’s Seed Fund (SBIR/STTR) enable and nurture the commercialization of innovative R&D to advance the creation, growth, and sustainability of small businesses."
As part of this honor Xairos will get the exposure to government agencies and a national audience through the Expo:
You can register here to virtually attend America’s Seed Fund Startup Expo 2023 on Monday, May 15th from 2:30 - 5:00 PM EDT.
Security vs. Resilience, and Why You Need Both
There is a difference between resilience and security.
A resilient network is resistant to outages; a secure network is resistant to eavesdropping.
For any network, including satellite systems, these are two different design considerations.
Security comes from the CIA triad: protecting against outsiders getting access to (confidentiality), modifying (integrity), and disrupting access to your information (availability, which is also a component of resiliency).
RF links from satellites are subject to eavesdropping (breaking confidentiality), spoofing (integrity), and jamming (removing availability).
Security is achieved primarily through sophisticated encryption and anti-jamming techniques (changing power levels and frequency).
But security is always a game of one-upmanship. Even proving your secure network is actually secure is a challenge.
This is the promise of quantum communications: leveraging the laws of physics to ensure a secure link (more below).
At its simplest definition, resilience is the ability to withstand difficulties.
For a system architecture, the US Air Force defines resiliency as the ability "to continue providing required capabilities in the face of system failures, environmental challenges, or adversary actions."
There is a growing recognition that our satellite systems, including GPS, are vulnerable because they "were designed for a peaceful, benign environment without a threat."
But those days are over with the recent scary advancements in anti-satellite weapons.
Moving towards resilient space systems is now a priority (check out the newsletter to learn more).
It should be noted that for position, navigation, and timing (PNT) users, assurance is also critical. This means maintaining multiple sources in case one part of the system is compromised.
The theme of this week's newsletter is an extension from our QED-C Quantum Marketplace presentation on network security, which will be posted on their website soon. All communications can be hacked by eavesdropper - except for quantum communications. Entangled photons can only be measured once, thanks to the no-cloning theorem, and the quantum process is fundamentally random.
Check out our latest newsletter to learn more about how to create a resilient network, with a case study on:
Don't miss your chance to check out our QED-C Quantum Marketplace presentation focused on "Quantum Timing for Network Security" today at 1 pm ET. You can register for the event here.
The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) was funded under the 2018 National Quantum Initiative Act as "a consortium of stakeholders that aims to enable and grow the quantum industry." Xairos was an inaugural member and a beneficiary from QED-C's efforts to bring together the quantum community, including these regular Quantum Marketplace presentations.
This particular webinar is focused on using quantum for secure networks. Other presenters will talk about quantum key distribution (QKD) and post-quantum cryptography (PQC) for distributing encryption keys for secure communications. Should be interesting!
Xairos is the only company talking about quantum timing - which makes sense, as we invented this and own the IP outright. And if you miss it, it will be recorded and available on the QED-C website later.
If you are of a certain age, you may recall the space race between the United States and Soviet Union. Set during the tension of the Cold War, it was was a period of incredible advancement. The first satellites, first astronauts, and the first humans on the moon – all achieved within a couple of decades of intense competition spurred by the shock of the Sputnik launch.
Now there is a new Sputnik Moment – this time from China.
China has now launched three quantum satellites, with plans for more; announced their ambitions to have the first settlement on the moon; and commissioned a better-than-GPS alternative (BeiDou) with plans to make it even better.
NASA has gotten the message, as confirmed by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson: "It is a fact: we're in a space race."
He is alarmed (as we should all be); China has a lot of resources, a top-down focus, and understands how reliant we are on GPS as a single point of failure for our modern society.
Fortunately, NASA has a secret weapon: the support from a thriving commercial new space sector, something that didn’t exist in the 1960’s.
Over the course of an eventful week the barriers to space were dramatically lowered.
On Thursday, the largest rocket in human history flew for over 3 minutes before ending with a “rapid unscheduled disassembly.” Five days later, a private company attempted to join an exclusive club by putting a lander on the moon.
On the face of it, these efforts were unsuccessful. But by all other metrics they were huge steps forwards.
In the olden days (only a decade ago) space was the domain of government agencies. Their missions were infamous for being overly cautious, over budget and over schedule.
Then came the new space paradigm: failure is an acceptable step towards success. All successful companies go through it – but unlike buggy beta software releases that are quietly patched later, space missions tend to be public and spectacular. Doesn’t matter that the ispace lunar lander likely crashed; they are already planning to return to the moon next year, joined by Astrobotics, Intuitive Machines, and Astrolab.
Of course, you have to be extra careful when it comes to sending humans into space. While the second NASA Artemis mission will be nearly two years after the first successful mission, the next Starship test flight is only waiting “a few months” with plans to launch “hundreds of missions” before launching humans.
When you have a long trail ahead, you can either wait for perfect conditions. Or you can start riding.
This week's newsletter highlights how the new space approach is going to revolutionize not only our access to space, but our daily lives (including our plans for a better GPS).
When I started in the space industry thirty years ago, satellites were hundreds of millions of dollars and “change” was a dirty word. A frequent problem was parts obsolescence because these satellites used decades-old electronics and technology. Innovation did not exist because there was no appetite for risk.
The new space era changed all of that. I was at a conference in 2017 when the Planet Labs founder stated “We don’t mind if we lose 20% of our satellites, because they cost half as much.” You could hear the audience gasp.
The new space virtuous cycle has lowered launch costs from $50,000 to $200(!) per kg and made our system feasible.
Hughes Space and Communications, 1996
ispace Lunar Lander, 2020
Spire Global, 2022
Check out our latest newsletter to learn more about:
In case you missed it, check out our presentation "What is the Quantum Internet? And why should you care?" by Dr. James Troupe, the inventor of our quantum clock synchronization protocol. It is a lecture that is a bit advanced, so you can also check out some of our previous overview presentations:
Xairos has been invited to give a lot of talks recently. This not only shows the interest in our technology, but allows us to to connect with potential partners, investor and customers. So keep your eyes out for:
Have you ever wanted to learn about Quantum Networking? Then check out this upcoming talk by our own Dr. James Troupe as part of the Gig City Goes Quantum event.
His presentation will cover all areas of quantum networking and quantum communications.
But quantum networks, also known as the quantum internet, refers specifically to a network of quantum computers. And unlike the regular internet, the quantum internet can do more than just share information between computers. “The power of quantum computing is in having a large number of qubits… If you can link those “live” qubits, you’ve linked the internals of your quantum computers, and you’ve effectively created a bigger quantum computer.” For example, a quantum network that connects a 5000 qubit quantum computer in New York with a 4000 qubit quantum computer in Chicago can harness 9000 qubits of computing power.
As you can imagine, the business opportunity for the owner of the quantum internet is enormous; the users that develop quantum algorithms for drug discovery, AI, chemical engineering, and finance, will pay handsomely for quantum network access time.
Building a quantum network has been identified as a US national priority and has already led to funding and testbed opportunities. But a functional quantum network won't happen overnight; it will need new technology, “incredible time synchronization,” and an entanglement distribution network, ideally through satellites.
Hmmmm, who do we know that is building a space-based entanglement distribution network?
GPS has been the gold standard for global position and timing for nearly three decades.
It is estimated that there are over 6.5 billion GPS receivers in the world, nearly one for every person on Earth.
But that commonality is also its biggest flaw – GPS cannot change.
Imagine you can develop a competing system from scratch?
You would start with lots of satellites and ground stations to improve accuracy and resiliency. You would add optical links, two-way time transfer, Global Short Message Communication and Search-and-Rescue Services.
That is what China provides with BeiDou.
And they have plans to expand the capabilities to provide “decimeter-level positioning and navigation” (compared to a few meters), and “underwater, indoor and deep space coverage.”
That isn’t to say there aren’t plans to improve on GPS – but most of these are meant for military users.
A commercial option is needed.
This week's newsletter was inspired by the recent Harvard report "China's BeiDou: New Dimensions of Great Power Competition," which lays out concerns that BeiDou is a soft power tool. For over twenty years there has been concern that GPS is a single point of failure. But now China has their own more resilient version, is delivering BeiDou receivers to their allies, and the US government is worried: "Our potential adversaries also know how much we rely on GPS. The adversary is going to try to come at it on day one of any potential conflict.”
Check out our latest newsletter to learn more about:
Doesn't matter whether you celebrated Yuri's Night or not - access to space has brought us immeasurable benefits, including GPS. Yuri’s Night commemorates when Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space on April 12, 1961, but in reality the space era really started with Sputnik in 1957.
Since then, we have seen three distinct space epochs:
The Space Race
The early decades were dominated by the space race between the US and USSR, when space missions were developed exclusively by government agencies.
The Commercial Space Era
By the 1980s, commercial space companies were starting to form around creating commercially-viable business outside just government contracts. This era saw the rise of large satellite operators like Intelsat, which was originally formed as International Government Organization, and PanAmSat, the scrappy operator determined to break Intelsat’s monopoly.
Unfortunately, these large monopolies, expensive launch options, and the failure of the first LEO constellations in the late 90s helped chill the momentum towards truly commercial space companies.
The New Space Era
But that changed with the dawn of the new space era in the 21st century. Adventurous venture-backed space startups, like SpaceX, Skybox, Planet Labs, and ABS, showed that space business could be lucrative.
This drew in new investment and an explosion of new space companies, growing from practically none in 2010 to nearly 1800 companies and over $272B invested today.
But more importantly, it enabled a virtuous cycle that brought cheap access to space, with launch prices falling from tens of thousands of dollars to a few hundred dollars per kg.
What does the Future Hold?
In the commercial sector, we are seeing novel business plans, exits, and the emergence of space-terrestrial hybrid networks.
And as commercial space takes over activities traditionally done by government agencies, these agencies can focus on pure science and ground-breaking missions like the JWST and Artemis program.
This, in turn, has enabled a new space race, this time to bring us common folk to orbiting space stations, the moon and even Mars.
Yuri Gagarin would be impressed.
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