High-Bandwidth Tactical-Network Data Analysis in a High-Performance-Computing (HPC) Environment: Time Tagging the Data

Report No. ARL-CR-0778
Authors: Brian Panneton
Date/Pages: September 2015; 28 pages
Abstract: The analysis of data from radio-based network testing typically requires that the latency of data leaving one node and arriving at a destination be determined. To properly calculate latency, transmit and receive times of network packets must be measured, and those times must be synchronized to a common source. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a readily available time source that can be made available at each of the distributed nodes in a network. However, applying GPS-synchronized time tags to recorded network packets has proven to be a challenge due to microsecond drift, data stream buffering, and other technical issues. The process described in this report made use of posttest processing techniques to provide packet-level time tagging with an accuracy close to 3 µs relative to Coordinated Universal Time, with a resolution of 1 µs. This enabled analysis of high-speed wireless networks where a medium-sized packet can be delivered in under 1 ms.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2015