In the protection, automation and control environment, the timing of control and measurement signals is of critical significance. This mainly relates to instantiating, transmitting, reading and responding to such signals. Timing needs to be accurate and reliable, and requires careful coordination in order to eliminate any ambiguity in a system’s design, operation, maintenance and fault finding. Factors such as varying and unpredictable network loads, sometimes even sectional unavailability, bad connections, etc., need to be considered.
The question arises, how can timing be properly measured and assessed in systems scaling from a few devices to a few hundred devices? Both the physical and virtual domains’ timing parameters, often distributed over a multitude of diverse logical as well as electrical networks’ locations, must be captured and analyzed. This paper ventures into the realm of hybrid measurements and sheds some light onto the what, the why and the how.