DHS Demonstrates eLoran Precision Timing Technology at the New York Stock Exchange

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today (April 20, 2016)  the successful demonstration of Enhanced Loran (eLoran) for precision timing of financial transactions at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The demonstration at the NYSE was hosted by Juniper Networks on April 19 and presented to technical representatives from the financial services, energy, and communication sectors.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today (April 20, 2016)  the successful demonstration of Enhanced Loran (eLoran) for precision timing of financial transactions at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The demonstration at the NYSE was hosted by Juniper Networks on April 19 and presented to technical representatives from the financial services, energy, and communication sectors.

“During the technology demonstration inside the NYSE building, we were able to not only provide signals indoors but also provide timing information to within 30 nanoseconds of our UTC [Coordinated Universal Time] reference,” said Sarah Mahmood, S&T program manager for the eLoran cooperation agreement.

DHS S&T, the U.S. Coast Guard, UrsaNav, Inc., and Harris Corporation are studying eLoran through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement for applicability to provide timing information for critical infrastructure applications.

Precise and synchronized timing of financial transactions is critical to markets worldwide and is mandated by regulation in the European Union and is increasingly required in the United States. Today, precision timing capabilities are often provided primarily by GPS.  However, low-power GPS’s space-based signals are susceptible to possible disruptions and also difficult to receive indoors or in urban canyons.

“Accurate position, navigation, and timing is necessary for the function and integrity of many critical infrastructure sectors, such as the electric grid, communication networks, and financial institutions,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “Ensuring the continuous and uninterrupted availability of critical information ensures our national security.”

“We are constantly working with critical infrastructure partners like the financial sector to help build their capabilities and resilience to a variety of hazards, including space weather and other cyber or physical threats to the system’s continuity,” said DHS Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Caitlin Durkovich.

Recognizing the challenges of space-based signals and the importance of having multiple timing sources, eLoran is one technology being considered to provide a complementary timing solution to existing GPS technology.

eLoran is a low-frequency, high-power radionavigation signal that is transmitted by ground-based stations, allowing the signal to penetrate through buildings and provide precision timing indoors and throughout urban environments.

Last December, the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT ExCom) recommended using enhanced Loran (eLoran) as a near-term alternative to GPS for essential timing data while it determines what capabilities are needed for a comprehensive GPS backup.

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