Resilient, Trustworthy and Ubiquitous Time Transfer

Secure and reliable time transfer is a key enabler for the next generation of services worldwide. A number of different applications such as 5G mobile broadband, mobile multimedia broadcast, power grids, terrestrial positioning services, financial operations, IoT, big data and cloud processing will require accurate, secure and reliable time information to be able to work consistently and efficiently. The time information will need to be transferred not only securely, but also in a seamless and ubiquitous manner.

This project aims to develop innovative effective hybrid (satellite and terrestrial) solutions of time dissemination, time transfer and synchronisation, combining strengths of GNSS and terrestrial technologies in order to provide secure, ubiquitous and reliable methods, which are cost-effective for future commercial and mission-critical stringent applications.

Telespazio UK is the prime contractor responsible for the overall project and technical delivery. The tasks to be performed will include:

  • Reviewing requirements for different use cases, with the main focus on new emerging fixed and mobile services being studied by relevant working groups (e.g. ITU, 3GPP)
  • Identifying enabling technologies including architecture, algorithms and protocols
  • Designing, developing and demonstrating the technology concepts

Telespazio UK is responsible for use cases definition, the technology survey, system SWOT analysis and future development plan.

The expected project outputs include:

  • Requirements and use cases report, for new concepts being studied by relevant working groups (e.g. ITU, 3GPP)
  • Report on the analysis of different enabling technologies, architectures, algorithms and protocols relevant to secure, reliable and ubiquitous time transfer
  • A test platform, to consolidate assumptions made on performance methodologies, models and techniques
  • Recommendations for follow-up activities, with the focus on standardisation of the proposed solutions.


Demonstrator of Time Services based on European GNSS signals

Demonstrator of EGNSS services based on Time Reference Architecture (DEMETRA) was a European Commission Horizon 2020 programme-funded project. Its aim was to investigate and develop innovative timing services to meet market needs by engaging with legitimate end-users through interviews and demonstrations to assess the feasibility of new improved services. The team at Telespazio UK, as a DEMETRA consortium partner, was dedicated to researching legitimate markets and identifying the needs of legitimate end-users without bias to a particular technology.  We undertook and provided the reports on the following areas, during the project: 

  • Timing Service User Needs Analysis
  • Business Plan and Market Analysis
  • Impact and User Needs Assessment

This involved:

  • Stakeholder identification and engagement across 5 major markets: Energy, Finance, Telecoms, Transport, Science. Two additional markets were also investigated: Agriculture and Surveying.
  • Definition of the timing and synchronisation market serving all major markets and user requirements in those markets
  • Selection and deeper market research of the most attractive markets, namely Energy, Telecoms and Finance
  • Development of a business plan for each of the nine services providing: time dissemination, precision time, integrity, security, resilience, etc. with technically different solutions
  • Analysis of impact of user requirements on the DEMETRA services and on Galileo services.