Launch Range Countdown Clocks

The Aerospace Corporation Computer Science, 2003-04

Liaison(s): Joseph Betser, Michael Gorlick, Jorge Seidel
Advisor(s): Ran Libeskind-Hadas
Students(s): Joshua Smallman (PM, spring), Jonah Cohen (PM, fall), Amanda Parmelee, Alan Strohm

Countdown clocks, a common tool of launch ranges, are used to synchronize and control the numerous and complex series of actions leading to the launch of a space vehicle or guided missile. However, countdown clocks rely on a standard for time distribution and synchronization that, in comparison to modern digital protocols, is anachronistic and needlessly restrictive. The Clinic team will present an entirely new standard for the management of range countdown clocks founded on modern and effective protocols, such as the Network Time Protocol (NTP) and the Hyper Text Transport Protocol (HTTP), which will improve both the accuracy and flexibility of countdown time services.