BPS as the Complementary PNT Solution

  • ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Positioning System (BPS) Seminar Outcomes – Humber College B²C Lab, Toronto, Canada - $15

    Date: April 3, 2024
    Topics: ,

    The realization that the ATSC 3.0 standard enables broadcasters to offer an independent source of standard time, distinct from and equivalent to GPS/GNSS, and traceable to UTC time, has led to the formation of a forum within ATSC and NAB, and has attracted individuals, industry, and government organizations, who feel that development of appropriate technologies within ATSC 3.0 should proceed with no delays. The urgency is caused by many concerns with the current vulnerabilities of the GPS system. Providing a backup is in the minds of many, given that competitor countries have already built backup capability in their systems and at the same time have good knowledge of the weaknesses of GPS. In this paper, a gathering of such a wide forum is described, which took place in Toronto, Canada in November 2023, in the form of a one-day conference. The theme of the conference was the Broadcast Positioning System (BPS), proposed by the broadcasting community as an alternative to GPS in case GPS service is lost. The main points made by participants in this conference are presented here, and its potential impact on innovation directions for industry and academia are evaluated. In addition, the potential impact of this forum on Canadian policy is assessed.

    Vatsa Dave | Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Georges Livanos | Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning | Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Positioning System (BPS) Mesh Network  - $15

    Date: April 3, 2024
    Topics: ,

    The Broadcast Positioning System (BPS) concept and related proof-of-concept technologies were introduced at the 2023 NAB Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology (BEIT) conference. Work on the BPS project has continued through 2023 and into 2024 with a focus on better accuracy and traceability but also on how such a system would be put into operation across one or more regions. This paper describes the design of a BPS transmitter mesh network that would allow nationwide time synchronization based entirely on ATSC 3.0 broadcasts. This network could also be used to obtain position information for devices receiving three or more BPS broadcasts. To accomplish this design, the proof-of-concept implementations presented at the 2023 NAB BEIT Conference were redesigned to meet the needs of this mesh network. The paper will describe the overall architecture and equipment needed to allow such a mesh network to be implemented. A nationwide monitoring system necessary to manage the mesh network will also be discussed. Finally, the paper will suggest areas of design and development needed before such a system could be realized.

    Mark Corl | Triveni Digital, Inc. | Princeton, N.J., United States
    Vladimir Anishchenko | Avateq Corp. | Markham, Ontario, Canada
    Francisco Girela Lopez | Safran Electronics and Defense | Rochester, N.Y., United States
    Tariq Mondal | National Association of Broadcasters | Washington, D.C., United States

  • Transmitting Time and Frequency Data by Using Broadcast TV Signals Observed in Common-View - $15

    Date: April 3, 2024
    Topics: ,

    We will study the possibility of transmitting time and frequency data by using broadcast TV signals observed in common-view, in which two sites receive the transmissions from a single transmitter. The statistical characteristics of the path delay will make an important contribution to the error budget of the method, so that an evaluation of the path delay is an important first step in deciding whether to implement it. The variation in the path delay will be evaluated by receiving the signal at two sites and where the times of the clocks at both sites are known from other, independent methods. The advantages of the common-view method will be discussed; the method does not require any modifications to the transmitting equipment and is independent of the accuracy and stability of the transmitter time and frequency reference. In addition, the method cancels or attenuates the contribution of the path delay that is common to the paths to the two receiving stations that will participate in the test. The uncertainty in the coordinates of the transmitter and the receiving stations would be important in limiting the accuracy of a time service based on these transmissions, but the actual locations introduce only a constant bias into the delay and are not important for an evaluation of the stability of the method.

    Judah Levine | Time and Frequency Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology | Boulder, Colorado, United States
    Christine Hackman | Advanced Space PNT Branch, Naval Research Laboratory | Washington D.C., United States