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Time from the Sky – Orolia and Satelles

February 9, 2017

Photo Iridium

We have seen and heard a lot over the last year about Satelles and their new satellite PNT service. Recently, their efforts were bolstered when they partnered with Orolia.

Last month Orolia had an operating GPS/Satelles integrated receiver, the Spectracom SecureSync, on display at the ATIS NY Stock Exchange workshop. We spoke with some Orolia-Spectracom folks there and subsequently to learn more about this new service.

We already knew that the service is supported by the Iridium constellation in low earth orbit, provides a signal about 1,000 times stronger than the GPS signal, and that this can enable some indoor locations to work without an outdoor antenna.

Some things that we learned:

  • Time service is available now anywhere in the world for stationary receivers
  • As a general rule, customers pay an annual subscription fee for each receiver
  • Location services are planned, but time is the focus of initial efforts
  • The time is tracable to UTC
  • Promised accuracy is time within +/- 500ns of UTC, but actual performance is often around +/- 200ns of UTC

This is still a new and somewhat unique service, so the business model is still developing.

Link to Orolia Press Kit