Enabling resilient timing for critical infrastructure

Today’s 5G wireless infrastructure has more complex, higher-density synchronisation demands than previous-generation networks and is extremely dependent on the integrity of ‘live-sky’ timing signals from the GNSS. Microchip Technology has integrated its BlueSky GNSS Firewall with its TimePictra 11 synchronisation monitoring and management platform to protect 5G networks and other critical timing infrastructure from GPS signal jamming and spoofing while giving single-console visibility across the complete timing architecture.

“Microchip’s TimePictra system improves overall situational awareness by managing network timing synchronisation as well as our GNSS firewall that improves a network’s resilience through real-time GPS threat detection and mitigation,” said Randy Brudzinski, vice president, Frequency and Time Systems business unit. “Our solution’s scalability is particularly valuable for mobile operators who can use TimePictra to monitor GNSS based source clocks along with our secure network-based timing distribution solutions to deploy a highly resilient timing architecture for their transition to 5G.”

As well as needing precise timing from GNSS sources, critical infrastructure operators require accurate timing to be distributed over their networks to secure reliable performance and service delivery. TimePictra offers full control and monitoring for resilient timing architectures created with Microchip’s wide product portfolio, including its TimeProvider 4100 grandmasters for 5G network synchronisation. It also monitors the health and performance of these networks’ distributed PTP client clocks. Integrating BlueSky GNSS Firewall management into the TimePictra console view now provides operators with a unified picture of the complete timing architecture and all timing sources.

Beyond supporting 5G deployments, TimePictra provides aviation, railway, and maritime ports with a regional, national or global view of GNSS reception. In combination with BlueSky GNSS Firewalls monitor key GNSS observables to detect live sky signal anomalies and provide early alerting so that operators may engage alternate procedures that do not rely on GNSS. These abilities are frequently important where public safety is dependent on the position and navigation for everyday operations.