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Space-system timekeeping in the presence of solar flares

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3 Author(s)
Camparo, J.C. ; Electron. & Photonics Lab., Aerosp. Corp., Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Moss, S.C. ; LaLumondiere, S.D.

It has become increasingly clear that the enhanced space radiation environment associated with solar activity can play havoc with satellite systems. An important special case of this problem concerns precise timekeeping among orbiting communications satellites, where the loss of synchronization can mean the loss of communications. Here, we discuss one satellite system's solution to this problem, where radiation-sensitive spacecraft crystal oscillators are "slaved" to radiation-insensitive spacecraft atomic clocks.

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 5 )