Time broadcasting by a Grandmaster time server

The cutting-edge Grandmaster time server works on a nanosecond scale.
Its time base accuracy is guaranteed by a cesium atomic micro-oscillator.

This micro-oscillator was developed within the framework of the SCPTime® collaborative project, by the Femto lab from Besançon, and the manufacturers Syrlinks and Tronics.
The time base accuracy can range from a nanosecond to a microsecond in the long term, depending on the synchronization source that is used.
In the Hold over mode, the micro-oscillator can keep up within an accuracy to a microsecond for 48 hours or to 100 microseconds for 10 days.

The Grandmaster server was developed to operate under harsh conditions, between -25°C and +70°C. Thanks to the centimetric oscillator, the technology can be embedded in a compact rack of 19’’1U. Its small size is a further advantage on the Time/Frequency markets.

This time server is fit for very demanding applications in terms of cybersecurity: trading rooms (high-frequency trading), area control centers, metrology labs, telecom networks (5G) and military facilities.

Time server secured synchronization

Time servers usually just pick up the time from a GNSS satellite system. This emitted time is highly accurate but the time message is received through Hertzian waves and can be jammed or spoofed by motivated attackers.

An arbitration module has been developed and patented by Gorgy Timing®. It can compare and control several synchronization input sources, that are selected according to applications. The security of the sent time message prevails over its accuracy.

Both sources 1 and 2 of input synchronization can come from:

  • GNSS satellites (GALILEO, GPS, GLONASS, BEIDU)
  • protocols (NTPSCPT, PTP, PTP White Rabbit).

The time server internal clock’s source 3 is fitted with:

  • a quartz oscillator OCXO (heated)
  • a cesium atomic micro-oscillator.

If sources 1 and 2 agree, the oscillator is enslaved to this common time reference.
If both input sources disagree, the cesium micro-oscillator acts as an arbitrator, qualifying the right source and rejecting the drifting-frequency one.

The time server accuracy depends on the 3 sources selected.
The accuracy can range from an accuracy to millisecond to one to nanosecond, according to applications:
industry, army, banking, telecommunications, energy, rail or air transport.

SPCTime, Micro atomic cesium clock, GNSS Satellites, PTP, Time server, security triptych

Time broadcasting via PTP (Precision Time Protocol)

The time protocol PTP has been developed by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) to synchronize clocks on local networks (e.g. Ethernet).
Gorgy Timing® develops a PTP Grandmaster, a high-end time server designed to produce and disseminate the secured time SCPTime®.

For the PTP output, a further security layer has been added thanks to the expertise of the LNE (French national trial lab), and this supplementary layer is crucial to address cybersecurity challenges.

The PTP input synchronization enables a high stability for the Grandmaster’s internal clock, that is below 10 nanoseconds. The PTP output can be used to synchronize clocks or connected objects to below a microsecond over long distances via networks such as Ethernet, thanks to a precise drift correction and the compensation of the transmission period. The bidirectional PTP protocol enables time message traceability and certification.
The PTP Grandmaster is equipped with a rubidium oscillator that provides high accuracy (10-11) in Hold-over mode.

It has been developed to meet the needs of area control centers, radio/TV broadcasters, telecom networks, metrology labs and military facilities.

The legal Time

The timescale UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) has been adopted as the international time base.
The Universal Time Coordinated UTC has been elaborated by the BIPM (International Bureau of Weights and Measures). It results from a comparison of more than 400 atomic clocks distributed in more than 70 metrology labs around the world.
A country’s legal time is defined from the UTC international reference to which a number of hours is added or subtracted, which depends on the time zone.

By way of example, the French (mainland) legal time is obtained by adding one hour to the UTC time in winter and two hours in summer.

Broadcasting of certified time BiaTime® NTP Box.

It took Gorgy Timing several years to develop this professional time server procuring a strong industrial product that has made the company an important player in the international market.
The BOX NTP BiaTime® aims at broadcasting a certified, traceable time message that comes from a country’s legal time (for France, it comes from the SYRTE of the Observatory of Paris) to a final user, within an accuracy to a millisecond, whatever the distance.

Here are some of the features of the compact NTPSCPT time server:

  • Intuitive and easy installation and operation for users.
  • Adequate accuracy to a few milliseconds.
  • Time information traceability, via a Data Center or Big Data.
  • Remote setup and maintenance.
  • Secured NTPSCPT protocol.
  • A price that most can afford.
  • Multilingual international product.

BiaTime® B is designed for small networks or parts of decentralized networks, where around twenty hardware devices are networked: solicitors, insurance companies, businesses, administrations, schools, hospitals...

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