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NIST Researchers Collaborate Internationally on Time Synchronization Approach for IoT

timing is everything in IoT

Time synchronization of sensor networks is critical to the Internet of Things (IoT). These sensor networks must provide real-time data in monitoring and controlling physical infrastructures. This entails forwarding sensor data and data fusion results to the cloud and sharing data with IoT applications – and all of the IoT devices should be synchronized based on a common time base. However, most IoT devices, such as IoT wireless sensors and actuators using microcontrollers, do not have real-time clock modules.

NIST researchers (Eugene Song, Kang Lee) and other IEEE members have presented and published Time Synchronization of IEEE P1451.0 and P1451.1.6 Standard-based Sensor Networks as part of the IECON 2021 conference.  It introduces time synchronization approaches for IoT sensor networks, which are based on the IEEE P1451.0 standard. The proposed architecture consists of two-level time-synchronization systems for: 

  • Wide-area networks (WANs), based on IEEE P1451.0 and P1451.1.X standards
  • Wireless local area networks (LANs), based on IEEE P1451.0 and P1451.5.X standards

The paper focuses on the time synchronization of WANs based on IEEE P1451.0 and P1451.1.6 standards. The paper also provides the implementation of time-synchronization for wireline and wireless networks adhering to IEEE P1451.0 and P1451.1.6 standards, along with preliminary results from verifying the approach.

Released December 1, 2021, Updated June 10, 2022