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UK funding (£118,778): Timekeeper Ukri1 Nov 2021 UK Research and Innovation, United Kingdom




Abstract TimeKeeper (TK) is a proposed overlay system for time synchronization that delivers nanosecond-scale precision. TK is designed to be secure, scalable, affordable & robust. TK will deliver the time signal from a synchronized grandmaster clock (such as the atomic clocks provided by NPL) and distribute it across the entire UK using wired, fiberoptics and cellular infrastructure, and then finally extend it to the last mile via a wireless mesh network, using as little as a dedicated 1MHz bandwidth channel. TK may use satellites to extend coverage to remote areas but is independent of GNSS and will be a viable time source in the event of localized GPS jamming, spoofing, or other larger outages. TK will work both indoors and outdoors in all GNSS-denied service areas and even in tunnels. TK dovetails with existing investments in fiber, cable and 4G and 5G deployments. TK builds upon emerging open standards such as OpenRAN for cellular access points used in equipment made by Parallel Wireless UK and others. TK has three components: 1) Authoritative Time Source (e.g., NPL atomic clock). 2) Wide Area Time Distribution Network (TDN). TDN may be wired using IEEE 1588 or white rabbit) that terminates in a cellular base station or cable modem or WiFi access point. The TK TDN may also use new wireless mechanisms to distribute the time signal over large areas. 3) XSN or Extensible Sync Network is a new portable and lightweight wireless mesh network that has sub-nanosecond time sync accuracy by using our HSN technology. XSN will extend the availability of precise time to the last mile and areas that do not have cellular coverage or GNSS-signals. TK could be further leveraged to provide full Position, Navigation and Tracking (PNT) services to support mobility applications for UEs, IoT, cars and drones. To help scale up the TK network, we imagine the XSN mesh devices are deployed in every emergency vehicle. For Example in an emergency scenario, as more vehicles arrive, the localized time signal coverage is improved geometrically using the self-organizing XSN mesh network.
Category Collaborative R&D
Reference 10006483
Status Active
Funded period start 01/11/2021
Funded period end 31/05/2022
Funded value £118,778.00

Participating Organisations

Parallel Wireless UK Limited


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The filing refers to a past date, and does not necessarily reflect the current state. The current state is available on the following page: Parallel Wireless UK Ltd., Sandhurst.

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