RF Shorts – May 10, 2012

New Trimble System Provides 15 Nanosecond Timing Accuracy
This week Trimble announced a new smart GNSS timing antenna that includes multi-Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) capabilities. The Acutime GG smart antenna provides a pulse-per-second (PPS) output synchronized to UTC within 15 nanoseconds. The receiver uses GPS and GLONASS signals and supports Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) and the Asian Pacific Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). The pole mounted antenna is about the size of a baseball and can support cable runs of up to 400 feet with standard cable or 1800 feet using custom cables with an RS-422 interface. Broadcasters may find the antenna useful for synchronized transmitters or mobile DTV systems. The Acutime Starter Kit includes the smart antenna, a 100 foot cable, user guide, RS-422 to USB converter and a Microsoft Windows software tool for monitoring and communication. The Acutime GG Smart Timing Antenna is expected to be available in 3Q2012 through Trimble's sales network.

While the device does not provide an NTP output, the 1 PPS signal can be used to synchronize an NTP server.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.