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Satellite Communications Technology

GPS time synchronization with world-class accuracy using a few selected satellites

(29 October 2018 - NTT, Furuno) Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) and Furuno Electric have developed a receiver for GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), dramatically improving time-synchronization accuracy in areas with severe reception conditions such as among buildings and in mountainous areas.

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Multi-path-tolerant GNSS receiver developed, dramatically increasing accuracy in severe environments (courtesy: NTT, Furuno)

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Satellite selection algorithm and GNSS receiver prototype performance test results (courtesy: NTT, Furuno)

By integrating a new satellite signal selection algorithm developed by NTT into a time synchronization GNSS receiver from Furuno, in addition to signals from satellites in line-of-sight locations, it has become possible to use multi-path signals (reflected or diffracted from buildings and other structures), which previously inhibited accuracy of time synchronization. In a real multi-path reception test environment, time error was reduced to approximately 1/5 of earlier values. This is a remarkable result in that it promises to enable time synchronization accuracy close to that obtained in open-sky reception environments with no obstructions, even in environments previously considered poor and unsuitable for accurate time synchronization, such as among buildings or in mountainous areas.

Furuno plans to begin sales of their new GF-88 series time synchronization GNSS receivers incorporating this new technology in April of 2019, and to deploy it widely in fields such as 4G/5G mobile base stations, financial trading, power grids, and data centers.