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Comments

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Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

macpacheco Re:Tesla is worth 60% of GM ! (223 comments)

BS. Tesla got a loan to tool production for the Model S, a loan that only helped pay for part of the cost. And it was paid off early with interest (like 18 months ago). The US govt made a profit from it.

6 hours ago
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Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

macpacheco Re:Tesla is worth 60% of GM ! (223 comments)

Market Cap = Stock Price X total number of shares outstanding
Tesla is worth what the market thinks it is. You are welcome to short the stock as much as you want.
I think Tesla will be a US$ 300 stock before 2020. No, I don't own it, I live in Brazil, it's complicated for us to buy USA stock here.

8 hours ago
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Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

macpacheco Tesla is worth 60% of GM ! (223 comments)

GM market cap 51.8B
Ford market cap 58.44B
Tesla market cap 30.66B and this is after a major drop in stock price, I believe it has been higher than GM !
A fringe brand that is worth over half of the big auto boys... Fringe my a..
If only any other brand got rave reviews like Tesla is getting. Specially in customer satisfaction.

11 hours ago
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Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

macpacheco Re:Boeing bought more politicians. (125 comments)

In this scenario only SpaceX would play. The total cost of developing just the spacecraft runs in the hundreds of millions of USD.
Only SpaceX is committed to building their spacecraft regardless of NASA due to their Mars ambitions.
Human transport into space is a very low volume, high cost market, it's not like the looser will pickup some business anyhow.
The system just doesn`t work like that.
That being said, technically I would prefer Boeing were eliminated. Too expensive a solution, riding on top of an expensive booster (Atlas V). The per seat price is very unlikely to drop by much after this initial contract.
But the political reality is if Boeing is out, it was likely this contract wouldn't get funding from Congress. I hate that, but its true. Until Americans get wise and demand this kind of behavior stops, its the hard truth.

yesterday
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State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

macpacheco Re:Rent a Tesla for $1 (324 comments)

Not the right time.
Last I heard, Tesla was production limited, not demand constrained.
They weren't doing any active ($$$) advertisement to avoid driving up delivery delays, keep customers happy.
What I really mean is Tesla probably don't need to start a lawsuit war.
All they need to do is in the right moment start an advertisement war against car dealerships, initially with targetted ads in states that are blocking Tesla sales, eventually moving towards national ads.
This will drive consumers (voters) against their own legislature.
But this only makes sense when Tesla is able to double their production very quickly. Since demand is very likely to skyrocket.
And it makes sense to have the Model X and Model 3 in production. So not before 2017, when the Giga factory comes online.
An alternate means is to pickup customers in one state and drive them to a neighboring Tesla friendly state for the test drive.
Politicians aren't stupid. Tesla have won many of this fights. Tesla isn't going to play to loose when they decide to bring in the big guns.

yesterday
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

macpacheco Very true (463 comments)

One must look at solar rooftop not as an isolated technology but coupled with energy storage.
Even today its already economical to use rooftop solar + storage to avoid demand charges slapped on commercial customers that follow the demand increase in peak hours (like residential customers). It doesn't mean being energy independent at peak demand hours, but rather just flattening out a business energy demand curve.
Of course it starts with having rooftop PV.
Li-Ion battery cells are slated to drop significantly in price until 2020 due to Tesla's Giga factory.
At that point it will be economical to be energy independent in the 3-5 hours after sunset.
In the winter, energy storage will be used to buy the cheapest electricity (midnight-6AM), and use it when energy costs the most during the day.
If energy storage prices drop enough, many consumers will use energy storage to flatten out their demand, which would help increase baseload production demand (by buying more electricity in low demand hours).
But still, long term trend is shifting low demand hours to daylight hours, with storage consumers will be able to adjust and adapt.

yesterday
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

macpacheco Re:Really? (463 comments)

In another 10 years solar panel prices will drop at least another 60-70%. At that point not going solar will be stupid even without any subsidies (except for feed in tariffs). And if the govt cuts the feed in tariffs, by then it will be economical for residential and commercial users to deploy battery energy storage such that they will be energy independent at least for half of the year, with FIT consumers will be able to over install solar panels such that they produce twice as much electricity in the summer than they consume and can sell their surplus production when they can get the best deal.

In the end, all electrical utilities will be forced to separate generation from transmission prices so the FIT matches wholesale generation prices. The transmission fee (usually a fixed month amount) might go up, but if it goes too far up, people might might go off grid even in urban zones.

No matter how you look at it, solar in Florida, Texas, southern half of California solar will rule.
And that is a good thing. The pity is the rejection of nuclear power up north where solar is useless in the winter. But still solar will be useful in the summer, when AC usage drive electricity demand up.

However we need a solution for heating in the winter without CO2 emissions, and solar can't fix that. Wind is too intermittent. The grid needs nuclear + solar + hydro + geothermal as its foundation. Wind, not a big fan, except for sites where wind produces reliably on a daily basis (vast majority of wind investment in North America and Europe is not on sites that produce reliably, with huge ups and downs).

2 days ago
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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

macpacheco Re:Works particularly well in SA/Victoria (169 comments)

Industrial users aren't your energy oversupply waste bin. They can't change their demand on an hour by hour basis significantly. What they can do is to shutdown in peak demand hours.
However Electric Cars could be given incentives to prefer charging when there's a power surplus. That would actually makes sense. But it would take millions of EVs / Plugin hybrids to make a difference.

3 days ago
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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

macpacheco Re:Works particularly well in SA/Victoria (169 comments)

Absolutely true (large scale grid storage isn't cheap except for pumped hydro).
While I'm a rabid critic of solar and wind in Germany (where both don't make a whole lot of sense), Australia is an entirely different case.
Solar... Australia latitudes go from 10S to 39S, a range that is excellent for solar.
Wintertime hit due to lower insolation is very moderate, so solar produces at least half as much in the winter as it does in the summer.
Plus with a largely interconnected grid Australia can use its significant longitude range to produce lots of solar on the west before sunset and power the east and produce lots of solar in the east and power the west before sunrise.
Its shore also has lots of areas with constant moderate wind breeze, which produces wind electricity more consistently than the many wind turbines installed in the northern hemisphere that go on huge generation spikes when a front passes then die down. Same as my Brazil.
Plus they have a ton of desert land that can easily be used for very large solar farms without taking away any agricultural production.
Like I said, entirely different case. Kudos to Australia, showing they are doing a logical solar+wind strategy instead of doing it just as a jobs program.
Where Australia isn't quite so great for taking in Solar and Wind is they have little hydro, which would act as a very agile load following source, with Australia having less than 8% electricity from hydro makes storing solar+wind surplus production very challenging, but as long as solar+wind generation matches consumption fairly well, solar+wind could be as much as 1/3rd of total electricity generation with any need for storage, and perhaps 50% with storage equivalent to 1hour of peak daily demand, which is utterly uneconomical today, but might be economical 10-15 years from now.

3 days ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

macpacheco Re:Maybe 40k (393 comments)

U233 is the least desirable nuclear bomb material.
Besides I'm FAR MORE concerned about Coal proliferation.
There is a lot of non sensical arguments perpetrated by the NRC in their thirst for as much regulatory revenue as possible.
You do know that the NRC charges by the hour (like US$ 250/hr) for their regulatory work, without any predictability in that process ?
I don't see any problems with a two fluid LFTR in countries that already have nuclear weapons or have substantial plutonium stockpiles or that have the facilities to make plutonium if they so desire. Finally new nuclear weapon design is focused on U235 as nuclear fuel, which is actually cheaper and more convenient to use for nuclear weapon design due to its very high half live. U235 has 700 million half life, while U233 / Pu239 has half lives under 100k years.
There was a time when Uranium enrichment was expensive and complex job, today it's much easier to enrich than to produce plutonium or U233.
Let LFTR design flourish.
Then we can restrict countries without nuclear weapons / plutonium stockpiles for only deploying the simplified DMSR (single fluid, has enough U238 in the core to require any U233 to be enriched in order to make nuclear weapons). Massive coal deployment is taking place in countries that already have nuclear weapons (USA, China, India).

about a week ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

macpacheco Re:Maybe 40k (393 comments)

GW scaling isn't important. Its better to have lots of sub 500MWe reactors than 2 conventional full sized 1300-1500MWe.
Allows better maintenance planning.

about a week ago
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Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State

macpacheco Re:Short answer - No. (156 comments)

Not only you're wrong in the amount, but also you ignore the FACT that every company making ZEVs can sell those credits if they make only ZEVs.
And the credit is per ZEV, not a percentage of the ZEV price.
So Tesla is the company least benefited from the ZEV credit. Nissan making cheap ZEV gets a much better return on their investment.
And that takes us to the most important FACT about Tesla.
Tesla is a for profit company, but as far as for profit companies go, Tesla cares a whole lot about customer satisfaction than average.
But it probably doesn't matter, for me "Anonymous Coward" = paid anti Tesla shill in this case. If you had any balls you would show yourself up.

about a week ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

macpacheco Re:Maybe 40k (393 comments)

As to making transuranics on an MSR...
If the fuel is 5% U235+U238 then you'd be somewhat right. Properly designed MSRs waste far less neutrons than LWR / BWR. But still they couldn't be Plutonium breeders.
Except the primary fuel envisioned for an MSR is at least 80% Thorium (for the DMSR which is designed not to be a breeder). For LFTR it could be 100% Thorium + U233 at startup, which would have enough neutron surplus to both fully consume all of its produced transuranics while breeding U233 sustainably.
Th232+neutron -> Pa233 -> 1 month half life -> U233
U233 + neutron (85% chance) -> fission generating 2.3 neutrons
One neutron is used to fission another U233
One neutron is used to breed another Pa233 -> U233
Still has .3 neutrons budget
Proponents of LFTR state that a well designed LFTR should be capable of 1.07 breeding ratio.
If U233 doesn't fission, we get U234 which becomes U235 with another neutron.
In the end, there's 85% fission probability of U233, 80% fission probability of U235, another chance at Np237, then it finally becomes Pu239 with 2/3 chance of fission. So the odds of making Pu240 (Pu239 absorbs a neutron instead of fission) is around 0,2%, while using 5% enriched uranium odds are 33% or 150 times less chances.
Another important characteristic is having no Thorium in the core, instead all Thorium is in a molten salt blanket, as to greatly reduce the odds of Pa233 getting a neutron before decaying into U233 (making U232 and wasting neutrons).
I don't think core fluids would be in direct contact with graphite moderator, but I could be wrong. Of course that would be design dependent. The full blown LFTR proposal is still just simulations.
Water cooled reactors main problem with isobreeding is buildup of Xenon and Krypton inside the fuel, which are neutron poisons (huge cross section). In any MSR design gases bubble up into a capture bottle, so they hardly eat up neutrons, plus even with infrequent reprocessing removing fission products, lots of neutrons are saved. And what water cooled reactors must do to fight Xe135 buildup ? Must be designed with a neutron rich environment with control rods and boron eating up neutrons on purpose (so when Xenon builds up, Xenon can eat up those neutrons instead), and even still, LWR make a lot of Plutonium.

Its not by chance that WAMSR proposed design is a molten salt, spent nuclear fuel burner... If your statement is right, then WAMSR would be impossible. Of course WAMSR design is still pretty much a secret.

about two weeks ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

macpacheco Re:Maybe 40k (393 comments)

Making amonia, hydrogen, methane from high temp nuclear, amazing possibilities, is 550C hot enough ? The ruskies already have at least one commercial reactor in operation capable of producing 550C stream.

Yeah, those pesky illogical wind turbine credits are killing all baseload generation in the USA. If only they would reformulate those credits as a percentage of the actual electricity revenues of wind generators, we could restore a minimum level of economic rationality to the market.
But... I did read a lot on the MSR front. Those reactors promise much simpler architecture. They could cost less than 1/3rd per MW than LWRs even at the 250-500MWe scale, their economics would be totally different, actually competitive with wind even with today's crazy credits, plus MSRs load follow without control rods or boron injections. Huge negative temperature coefficient, so if demand goes up, more heat is extracted from the primary loop, temps go down, reactivity goes up, demand goes down, less heat is extracted from the primary loop, temps go up, reactivity goes down. Was demonstrated ad nauseum in the 60s @ ORNL MSR demonstrator, they could control the reactor power by just changing airflow over the heat exchanger (demonstrator had just a heat exchanger dumping heat on the air).
I also took this online class:
    https://www.coursera.org/cours...
All of those active safety systems on LWR reactors, none are needed. MSRs need no computer based realtime control computers, even human operators aren't critical, its walk away safe.
It sounds too good to be true, but so far the only bad thing that was said about it was alleged corrosion problems, which was denied by the few retired ORNL techs that worked on the project 40 years ago.
The pesky problem is the NRC. Everytime I read something factual about the NRC, it just shows they are the biggest monkey wrench trying to kill nuclear power in the USA. And the radical greens call the NRC in bed with the nuclear industry.

about two weeks ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

macpacheco Re:Maybe 40k (393 comments)

Fast Sodium / LFTR Molten Salt reactors promise both high temps (Fast Sodium around 550C, Molten Salt 700-800C), plus promise at least 50% utilization of mined uranium for Fast Sodium or 98% utilization of Thorium for LFTR, current nuclear reactors use 0,6-0,9% of mined uranium. By increasing utilization of mined uranium / opening Thorium as a high efficiency fuel, the "Uranium shortage argument dies, even without increasing reserves, since we already have enough spent nuclear fuel / depleted uranium to power civilization for a thousand years with 90% efficiency uranium utilization. Compared to this, the argument that high temp reactors could increase efficiency from current 34% for newest water cooled reactors up to 50% is peanuts, but of course, welcomed.

about two weeks ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

macpacheco Re:Still pretty affordable (393 comments)

What 100 mile range ? The 85kWh has 265mile range, the 60kWh has 160 mile range. Of course if you want to drive 75mph with AC/heat on, range is reduced, but you can drive slower when you're range critical and drive faster between superchargers / to/from home.
100 mile is LEAF range.

about two weeks ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

macpacheco Re:Still pretty affordable (393 comments)

There is no escape. We once needed every hand available to work in factories. Now factories need less than 1% the people needed to produce similar goods 100 years ago. We can keep inventing more complex goods, but in a decade automation will do it with few people.
We can also keep inventing more weird things for the services sector to do.
Plus with jobs going to China and other low labor cost countries, deindustrialization will destroy capitalism as we know it today.
Unless you are for a world where 50% unemployment is the norm, govt subsidies will only grow.
I wish we could do it with less govt, but savage capitalism is far worse than european style capitalism+social programs.
Weird thing is even my Brazil (a developing country) experienced significant deindustrialization after the rise of China. It's screwing up everybody that isn't paying peanuts to labor.
The real problem is NIMBY barriers to new business investment. Completely unrelated to subsidies policies.
People are too stupid, you get a little rich then you reject wind turbines, nuclear power stations, factories, high voltage electricity powerlines, and before you know it, your area is stuck on a deindustrialization route. Think about it.

about two weeks ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

macpacheco Re:Still pretty affordable (393 comments)

Are you considering that in 2 years the supercharger network will be fully realized and unless you need to drive into Mexico or into Canada wilderness, you will have free electrons for long range driving. 110 superchargers operational in the USA, with another 22 in construction + licensing process plus over another 100 planned for the next 2 years. Superchargers have been popping up quickly. Tesla isn't making TX a priority due to anti Tesla sales hostility, but they will invest on the supercharger coverage in TX, even if mostly for out of state visitors. Right now there are just 5 TX superchargers, but plans for 2015 are 16 superchargers.
Plus the trend is for having EV charging in every hotel in the long run, it's extra revenue for hotel operators are a modest investment (for a high amp 220V outlet with a meter).

about two weeks ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

macpacheco Re:Still pretty affordable (393 comments)

EPA estimated one gallon of gasoline contains 33.7kWh.
CA June 2014 average kWh price = 17 cents
33.7kWh of electricity * .17 = US$ 5.729 for one gallon of gasoline electricity equivalent

let's look at Tesla Model S mpg equivalent numbers:
    60kWh pack = 160 mile range, mpg equiv 152.59 mpg
    85kWh pack = 265 mile range, mpg equiv 138.56 mpg
a non plug in 2015 prius is rated @ 51/48 mpg !
With gas around US$ 4/gallon, you can see that even a Prius costs close to 200% more per mile to fuel with gasoline than a Tesla Model S costs to power with electricity.
If instead of a prius we consider a regular non hybrid car, then we're talking the Tesla being about 5x more efficient in dollars !
And that's disregarding solar panels. If you can invest on those, paying 5 years worth of electricity bills, you can get back at least 15 years worth of electricity back, so it could reduce your long term electricity costs by at least 2/3s.
Electricity can be self generated. Gasoline can't.
Of course, EVs today only make sense for high mileage consumers. If you drive little, you might be better off even buying a regular car.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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GPS L2C/L5 pre operational signal available

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  about 5 months ago

macpacheco (1764378) writes "For ages, high accuracy GPS meant using a mix of civilian and military signals.
In order to obtain high accuracy GPS positioning (better than 2 meters) receiver must know local ionosphere corrections. This requires two GPS signals at a minimum, the difference between both is used to calculate ionospheric corrections which is then applied to either one.
However since GPS doesn't offer two usable civilian signals, a technique known as semi-codeless was devised, that calculates ionosphere corrections by using the two military encrypted signals L1P(Y)+L2P(Y), then applies the iono corrections to the civilian L1 C/A signal, however the military was never to fond of that usage, since it limits what changes they can do with the military signals. Specially changes in power levels.
Since September 26, 2005 GPS satellites capable of broadcasting the L2C (2nd civilian signal) and since May 2010 GPS satellites capable of broadcasting the L5 (3rd civilian signal, usable for aviation) have been launched, however those signals are still not fully usable.
Today those signals were enabled in a pre operational format meaning:
  1 — All messages required for full L2C and L5 utilization are broadcast
  2 — L5 signals are broadcast with an alert flag (not usable), L2C is broadcast without an alert flag
  3 — L2C/L5 almanac and ephemeris will be updated about twice a week, while regular L1 C/A updates happen typically twice a day, so L2C and L5 signals will be less accurate in this phase

However this means there is no technical excuse for GPS equipment manufacturers to finalize their L2C and L5 offerings, since they now have a complete signal to test against, and right after GPS satellites have received an upload they should have similar accuracy as L1 C/A.
This should continue for the next few years, until the new GPS control segment, OCX comes online, OCX block 1 is needed for full L2C capabilities and OCX block 2 is needed for full L5 capabilities.
Notice that it will take at least another 12 GPS launches for L2C to reach a state known as FOC (full operational capability), meaning that are enough satellites with L2C capability for L2C to be usable for standalone positioning and it will take another 19 GPS launches for L5 to reach FOC as well."

Link to Original Source
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Forbes tries to smear Tesla and gets burned !

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  about a year ago

macpacheco (1764378) writes "Very interesting to read a clearly Big Oil sponsored article, and then read all comments, not a single comment supporting the writer's stupid, short sighted views.

Forbes needs to first write articles scathing the trillions of dollars the Oil + Coal industry got in subsidies over the last 50yrs before they be allowed to try to criticize the solutions to our pollution problems !"

Link to Original Source
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USA Election. It's the productivity dummy !

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  about 2 years ago

macpacheco (1764378) writes "Another critical fact neither the GOP nor the Dems address which is critical to economical recovery:
In 1970, a business needed as many as 10x more employees to accomplish the same administrative tasks (invoicing, payroll, accounting, IT, production planning, inventory), as today.
After the PC revolution, businesses needed less people to do the same, they got fired, but the services sector re-used them for other jobs, many started businesses of their own. However their a limit to how many people large businesses can fire until the economy can't re cycle them. The current economy is getting too productive. B2B and B2C processes are further reducing the number of employees needed to get the job done.
Eventually there will be next to none clerical employees, forklift jobs get automated, robots take over production. How can the economy re accomodate that labor force ? The services sector need customers ! Eventually unemployment will rise. Don't we need to have some limits to automation to ensure that manufacturing actually hires ?
If the whole economy hires 10% of what it did in the pre PC age, how is full employment possible ?
That's a difficult question no sides are willing to answer."
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Mitt Romney, conservative/moderate or just plain liar ?

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  about 2 years ago

macpacheco (1764378) writes "After listening to the 47% tape, following the Republican primaries and the first month of all out electoral campaign, I'm puzzled.

Is Romney just a flip flopper, or is he a pathological liar ?
People that tell you what they want you to hear, just because they can get away with it, no matter how untrue, are the worse type of politician and human beings on the planet.

I'm not from the US (I'm from Brazil), if I was a US citizen, I'd be an independent, I would vote for Obama not because I like him, but instead because I think the current generation of Republicans are just 10 times worse !

I do have an agenda, I'm a pragmatic environmentalist, and I'm against all kinds of corporative inefficiency, specially the government type of corporative inefficiency. The Dems have their faults, but the GOP fails to show any way that they actually mean to do the positive side of their agenda."
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Smaller, cheaper lighter atomic clocks are here

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  more than 3 years ago

macpacheco (1764378) writes "Atomic clocks for a long time have been a research lab item, used in production environments only in high budget, ultra performance demanding environments. Their high power consumption, 4U size and weight also didn't help.
Chip scale atomic clocks (CSAC) have been a promise for a long time. They're finally here. Typical atomic clocks cost tens of thousands of dollars each, this first generation CSAC costs US$ 1400 in small quantities. 1 cu inch volume (16 cc), 115mW power consumption (down about 1000 fold), and just 35 grams weight, will make them more interesting than current GPS based frequency standard.
They're called frequency standard, because 99% of the time someone needs an atomic clock, it's not to actually track time (day, hour, minutes, seconds, milliseconds), its used instead a replacement for quartz crystal oscillators, mainly transmitting and receiving radio signals, synchronizing telecommunications equipment. This atomic clock claims to be about 10000 times more accurate than typical quartz based oscillators.
This is very exciting, as it will enable better 4g/WiMax/... base stations, better ultra high speed networking equipment, and will help tremendously in GPS augmentation solutions like WAAS, EGNOS, DGPS. Having an atomic clock on a GPS receiver works like an extra GPS satellite."

Link to Original Source

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