Sensory systems

Passive sensory systems that detect features about their environment by monitoring the synchronized state over a set of two mutually delay-coupled oscillators

Time-synchronization infrastructure

Data center and the contained data-bases require precisely and accurately synchronized processes, especially when storing large amounts data in short time-windows. State-of-the-Art solutions to the timing in data centers, e.g., True Time achieve time-stamping with uncertainties of about 4 milliseconds. A quarter of those 4 ms, i.e., 1 millisecond are related to hierarchical time-distribution, see Brewer 2017. Such uncertainties could be reduced combining mutual synchronization and entrainment.

Satellite systems, drone swarms, mobile communications and autonomous operations infrastructure need to orchestrate their dynamics in time, while the oscillators of the network are no necessarily stationary. In these cases mutual synchronization may be a solution that can operate reliably in the presence of time-dependent signaling time-delays.

The stable operation of power grids relies on well synchronized operations of consumers and suppliers. Due to the changing landscape of suppliers and consumers the current strategies to keep the grid stable need to be reconsidered.

Strengths of mutual synchronization

Phase- and frequency locked synchronization can be achieved with high precision due to the continuous mutual coupling between the oscillators of a network. Combined with a back end, e.g., an edge counter in the case of digital oscillators, a time can be defined from the underlying oscillations and time-synchronization with precision in the Picosecond regime and below can be realized. This requires an initialization of the counters via, e.g., the Einstein synchronization approach. In the case of digital oscillator output signals, time is resolved by the counter with half the period of the underlying oscillations. As cycle-slips can occur when such system are being booted, the initialization of the counters needs to be done after the synchronized state has been achieved.

This can enable new sensory systems that can measure rapid changes in the environment, e.g., in the electromagnetic spectrum to detect the direction from which signals originated. Doing so directly using the properties of mutual synchronized states in a simple 2-oscillator system.

There are many systems that depend on precise and accurate time-synchronization. Accurate in this case refers to the time given by a reference time, e.g., universal coordinated time (UTC). In such cases mutual synchronization can be combined with the entrainment by a precise reference.