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Enhanced Timestamping Method for Subnanosecond Time Synchronization in IEEE 802.11 over WLAN Standard Conditions

Óscar Seijó, Jesús Alberto López Fernández, Hans Peter Bernhard, Iñaki Val

IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics


The time-sensitive network paradigm envisions the integration of operation technology and information technology in the same network. One of the requirements for building time-sensitive networks is sharing a global time along the network. This requirement is especially critical in wireless systems, where there are few robust methods to perform accurate time transfer. In this article, the problem of time transfer over realistic wireless channels is studied, and a time distribution scheme is proposed. The time distribution scheme has three components: Precision time protocol, a novel timestamping method (enhanced timestamps) and an algorithm to implement the enhanced timestamps. The performance of the proposed scheme has been evaluated in MATLAB using the IEEE 802.11n Standard under several standard wireless local area network channel models. The results show that the system can reach subnanosecond time transfer accuracy under non-line-of-sight and time-variant conditions, but its performance greatly depends on the signal-to-noise ratio and on the channel variation rate.

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