GNSS Backup eLoran Trialed Using Grandmaster Clock - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

GNSS Backup eLoran Trialed Using Grandmaster Clock

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

The trial follows US federal executive order 13905 aimed at strengthening national resilience through PNT services, including protecting critical infrastructure such as electrical power grid and communication networks from rising cyber threats. By harnessing 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 significantly boost timing resilience and security.

“The technology enables ADVA’s grandmaster clock to receive UTC timing from the eLoran system for a period of several days with the same accuracy and stability as GPS. Of course, this capability is extensible to other GNSS as well. eLoran is far less vulnerable to unintentional jamming and spoofing disruptions or intentional attacks, thereby delivering nanosecond precision with even more resilience,” said Charles Schue, CEO, UrsaNav.

UrsaNav’s latest trial harnessed the OSA 5420 Series grandmaster clock with inbuilt GNSS receiver. Timing stability from GPS was measured for several days. This was then replaced with eLoran for the same period with no loss of stability. The test was conducted indoors where GNSS signals are not usually available, potentially extending the availability of precise UTC timing to many more environments.

“Commercially available GNSS jammers and spoofers are easy and cheap for attackers to construct. That’s part of the reason why we’re seeing a growing number of incidents across the world of blocked or misleading signals,” commented Nir Laufer, VP, product line management, Oscilloquartz, ADVA. “If power utilities, enterprises, service providers and governments continue to rely on GNSS alone, it’s only a matter of time before the consequences become very serious. That’s why we’re committed to tackling GNSS vulnerabilities with advanced technologies like our ePRTC offering, cesium atomic clocks and our optical timing channel solution. Now that UrsaNav has demonstrated the power of our OSA 5420 Series to utilize eLoran in the event of outages, we have another very important tool to ensure the quality and availability of time-sensitive services.”