GNSS Backup eLoran tested using Grandmaster clock – Inside GNSS


UrsaNav and ADVA conducted an enhanced long-range navigation (eLoran) field test using UrsaNav’s eLoran receiver and ADVA’s Oscilloquartz grandmaster clock technology. The successful demonstration showed that eLoran offers a robust and reliable backup for GPS and other GNSS and could be used to provide assured position, navigation and timing (PNT) service.

The trial follows U.S. Federal Executive Order 13905 aimed at building national resilience through PNT services, including protecting critical infrastructure such as the power grid and communications networks from growing cyber threats. By leveraging ADVA’s flexible OSA 5420 series, designed with Assured PNT (aPNT) technology, UrsaNav has shown that eLoran can provide a new layer of protection and dramatically increase temporal resilience and security.

“The technology allows ADVA’s grandmaster clock to receive UTC time from the eLoran system for several days with the same accuracy and stability as GPS. Of course, this capability is also expandable to other GNSS. eLoran is much less vulnerable to unintentional jamming and impersonation disruption or intentional attacks, providing nanosecond precision with even more resilience, ”said Charles Schue, CEO of UrsaNav.

UrsaNav’s latest test used the OSA 5420 Series Grandmaster Clock with an integrated GNSS receiver. The temporal stability of the GPS was measured over several days. This was then replaced by eLoran for the same period without loss of stability. The test was conducted indoors where GNSS signals are not generally available, potentially extending the availability of precise UTC timing to many other environments.

“Commercially available GNSS jammers and spoofers are easy and inexpensive for attackers to build. This is part of the reason why we are seeing an increasing number of incidents across the world of blocked or misleading signals, ”commented Nir Laufer, Vice President, Product Line Management, Oscilloquartz, ADVA. “If electric utilities, businesses, service providers and governments continue to depend solely on GNSS, it is only a matter of time before the consequences become very serious. This is why we are committed to tackling GNSS vulnerabilities with advanced technologies such as our ePRTC offering, cesium atomic clocks and our optical synchronization channel solution. Now that UrsaNav has demonstrated the power of our OSA 5420 series to use eLoran in the event of an outage, we have another very important tool to ensure the quality and availability of urgent services.

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