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Over the past two decades, the free availability of GPS time has enabled a plethora of time-dependent applications. Time and frequency synchronization between remote locations is crucial for digital communication systems, electrical power grids and financial networks, to name a few. Military operations also require accurate and reliable time information. Typically, these applications require accurate time synchronization ranging from 10 microseconds (μs) down to 100 nanoseconds (ns). Yet, while our critical reliance on GPS for time transfer continues to escalate, GPS remains susceptible to interference, disruption or denial.
Locata, a privately owned Australian company with a U.S. subsidiary, invented a radio-location technology that provides precise PNT (position, navigation and timing) for environments where GPS coverage is unavailable. Its ground-based PNT technology delivers positioning that, in many scenarios, far exceeds the performance and reliability of GPS. LocataNets, the company’s terrestrial networks, function as local ground-based replicas of traditional GPS position and timing services. They can be designed to reliably deliver a powerful, controllable, tailored signal as user applications require.
The testing of the Locata Network installed at the U.S. Air Force White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico focused on timing down to the nanosecond and achieved impressing results.
The Non-GPS-Based Positioning System (NGBPS) was tested in 2018 at White Sands Missile Range as an alternative to GNSS for precise time transfer and synchronization. This
was the first independently measured and characterized testing program for the NGBPS, which leverages Locata’s PNT technology to achieve high accuracy independent of GPS.
Under testing, the NGBPS provided exceptional time transfer and frequency stability across large areas, reports gpsworld.com.
Until these new tests were run, the squadron’s attention had primarily been focused on the high-accuracy use of Locata’s position and navigation solution as an alternative to GPS when it is jammed, deceived or unreliable. But because all LocataLites are precisely synchronized via TimeLoc, network synchronization is a natural extension of the technology’s core capabilities.