Critical infrastructures, such as smart grids, may be vulnerable to attacks and expensive outages due to inadequate timing synchronization. Even computer networks in the field of telecommunications, banking or research and development require a precise timestamping of network packets.

The supply of time via public NTP (Network Time Protocol) time server is not sufficient here. The resolution is a separate time server integrated into the LAN. Even then there are big differences in synchronisation quality. The DCF-77 signal, popular in Germany, can only provide limited high-quality synchronization in critical areas. Therefore, our time servers are based on accurate on-board oscillators in combination with one or - redundantly constructed - two multi-GNSS receivers.

The name of the American manufacturer Masterclock says it all - their Time and frequency generators are available in the LAN as stable NTP master clocks. Optionally, the time can be distributed via PTP (Precision Time Protocol) or various time code outputs.

Elproma, a company, which was originally founded in the Netherlands in 1992 and has been based in Poland since 1998, goes one step further. Awarded with international innovation awards, the ISO 9001 and IQnet certified company has repeatedly participated in research and development projects as a specialist for the Ethernet time synchronization protocols NTP and PTP-IEEE1588, such as CERN White Rabbit and DEMETRA Horizon 2020. As part of the DEMETRA project in 2017 time synchronization services have been examined, some of them based on the European satellite navigation system GALILEO. That also revealed some weaknesses.

The research results are used in the Elproma time servers. If required, the systems can be redundantly configured so that they can receive time via two Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers, in addition to being covered by internal high-precision oscillators. This achieves an accuracy better than 15 nanoseconds relative to UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). In the distribution of time in the LAN, the modular design of the devices allows gradations. The modules for the Network Time Protocol NTP (LAN 1 and LAN2) and Software Time Stamping achieve better than 10 μsec. The synchronization becomes more accurate - better than 200 nanoseconds - when using PTP and the optional ARM-based PTP modules for LAN3 to LAN10 with their own IP stacks and hardware time stamping.

 

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Multi-GNSS Simulation Time and Frequency Network Time Server Clocks and Displays
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