Multicast Time Distribution

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för systemteknik

Abstract: The Swedish National Testing and Research Institute is maintaining the Swedish realization of the world time scale UTC, called UTC(SP). One area of research and development for The Swedish National Laboratory of Time and Frequency is time synchronization and how UTC(SP) can be distributed in Sweden. Dissemination of time information by SP is in Sweden mainly performed via Internet using the Network Time Protocol (NTP) as well as via a modem dial up service and a speaking clock (Fröken Ur). In addition to these services, time information from the Global Positioning System (GPS) and from the long-wave transmitter DCF77 in Germany, is also available in Sweden. This master’s thesis considers how different available commercial communication systems could be used for multicast time distribution. DECT, Bluetooth, Mobile Telecommunication and Radio Broadcasting are different techniques that are investigated. One application of Radio Broadcasting, DARC, was found to be interesting for a more detailed study. A theoretical description of how DARC could be used for national time distribution is accomplished and a practical implementation of a test system is developed to evaluate the possibilities to use DARC for multicast time distribution. The tests of DARC and the radio broadcast system showed that these could be interesting techniques to distribute time with an accuracy of a couple of milliseconds. This quality level is not obtained today but would be possible with some alterations of the system.

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