All-in-one Time Synchronization Solution

demetra All-in-one Time Synchronization Solution

High accuracy, Secure, Robust, Scalable, Distributed and SLA based synchronization solution for new or existing systems/infrastructures.


SynchroNet is a Thales Alenia Space Italia patented system for high performance network synchronization exploiting GNSS (GPS and GALILEO) based synchronization algorithms and techniques into a higher level distributed infrastructure matching even critical systems requirements.

SynchroNet offers several benefit and features that are normally available using different timing products in single, integrated and monitored solution.

SynchroNet can work both using a flat network topology or using a hierarchical one and is designed around the concepts of scalability and robustness both in terms of service coverage (number of terminals and terminals geographical distribution) and in terms of performances allowing configuring each node with a specific HW setup to match actual performance needs that can be up or downscaled in later stages without requiring any SW or Architectural modification.

The base idea behind the SynchroNet solution is to develop a product that can scale with customer needs and adapts to different application domains but doesn’t force to invest on irreversible trade-off between reliability, autonomy or performance since the beginning. At any time the service can be re-tailored simply boosting the HW of each node and an upgrade plan can be delivered incrementally.

SynchroNet is also designed taking into account the integration problem in already existing systems and infrastructures. For this reason its integration footprint has been minimized in terms of logistical constraints (just a small self-contained UT) and in terms of logical impact by using tunneled and isolated network communication that can coexist with a large variety of already deployed network layouts, security schemes and network bandwidths. The compatibility with already deployed timing solution is guaranteed by means of standard output signals: 10MHz, 1PPS and NTP.

SynchroNet wants to deliver added values to the timing service, that why it doesn’t just deliver timing signals; each SynchroNet user terminal is factory calibrated and tested in terms of reachable performances; the result of factory tests is then translated into a per terminal SLA that is then continuously monitored during operational life as part of integrity assessment and as part of other important monitoring parameters (network connection, NTP performances, GNSS signal availability, etc.) that allows to detect and intervene in advance in case of failures. The outcomes of continuous monitoring are made available to the user that can eventually exploit these information at system level.

Features and benefits

Scalable and distributed high accuracy clock synchronization problem allowing ease of management of network topology without overall service interruption
Synchronization products:
NTP over secure network channel
Synchronized 10MHz refrence frequency
Synchronized 1PPS TTL signal
Clock statistical model
Performance and integrity indicators computed vs SLA
Performances: <10ns when clock model is applied and <10-14 ADEV @24h. Performances can be scaled at each node depending on the selected HW clock performances and allowing cost planning without having to redesign the whole synchronisation sub-system.
Availability and Robustness: can compensate/mitigate effects of downtime of GNSS (also in case of jamming or spoofing) as well as of ground network used for data exchange
ease of integration in new as well as existent systems and infrastructures, all is needed is an network connection (not necessarily Internet) and a place to mount a GNSS cable and antenna
Different synchronisation realisation matching different applications:
Phase adj. based: introduces jumps in time forward or backward but guarantee time is always aligned
Frequency adj. based: guarantees time to be monotonic but may require time for time to be perfectly aligned
Algebraic: no correction is applied to distributed time and frequency, but a clock model is provided indicating the offset in terms of time, frequency and frequency drift
Integrity and monitoring: continuous monitoring of functions and performances with per-UT specific thresholds determined during a specifically designed calibration process
Integration and security:
All nodes communicate over encrypted tunnels that guarantee authenticity and secrecy.
Exclusive tunnelled link between each nodes pair (single hop encrypted point-to-point communication)
Redundant status monitoring on TSG and UT
Ready to exploit GALILEO Commercial and Regulated services

How it works

The service is based on a, scalable, hierarchical structure of nodes; each node is realized through a self-contained User Terminal. The architecture is similar to that used in the NTP or by ground based, broadcast telecommunication networks.

The network can be synchronized to UTC or an autonomous and independent time scale can be used that is independent also of GPS or GALILEO system time.

Each node can act both as client and server simultaneously thus providing locally the physical synchronization products and at the same time operate as a master reference time for allocated clients.

The role of each node and the assigned clients can be changed at runtime without any service interruption or performance disruption.

Each node delivers locally a comprehensive range of signals that should fulfill the majority of application needs. In particular it will provide a steered 10MHz frequency reference, a steered 1PPS TTL signal, an authenticated NTP service some logical products about the status of the synchronization with respect to SLA.


Time Service Details

Version: 1.0

Company: Thales Alenia Space Italia (TAS-I)

Address: V. Saccomuro 24, 00131, Rome, Italy

Contact with the company: email us




This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 640658. The Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information this web contains.


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