Enquiry for White Rabbit based Time Distribution System

Last updated: June 10, 2022 by Henrik Andersson
Status: 2022-06-07 Contract signed

Selected Vendor

EISCAT has signed a contract for the delivery of the Time Distribution System with Orolia Spain S. L. U. Deliveries of the first units will be done within the coming weeks.


The Time Distribution System for EISCAT_3D will comprise of network switches following the White Rabbit Precision Time Protocol Core (WRPC), an Ethernet-based hierarchical master-slave architecture for clock distribution including compensation for any latencies in transmission lines and electronics within the network. The WRPC hardware, gateware, and software is entirely based on open-source designs.

The procurement is for a total of 79 units plus an initial first delivery of 4 units for final verification and system tests.

The procurement will be a one-stage process with a closing date on 31 March 2022. Deliveries and closing of the contract are expected to be done during 2022.

Documents relating to the procurement:

Enquiry for Time Distribution System (2022-02-23)

Requirements Answer Template for EISCAT_3D TDS (2022-02-22) – Word file to be used when responding

General terms for supply of goods to the public sector


2022-02-23 Enquiry opened

2022-03-31 Enquiry closed

2022-04-07 The received TDS offers are now being evaluated. The evaluation include two independent processes: technical and administrative and financial (commercial) aspects

2022-04-20 Contract negotiations with preferred supplier initiated

2022-06-07 Contract signed with Orolia Spain S. L. U

Received questions and answers relating to this procurement:

Question 188: In the document, “Enquiry for White Rabbit based Time Distribution System” pages 9 – 12, we see that there is a project procedure that we don’t understand properly, since the tender asks for COTS devices. Could you explain us this procedure?

Answer 188: Our purchasing rules for such a large purchase as this does not allow us to address just one vendor, unless of course there are no other options. In this case there are, and therefore we are forced to widen the enquiry for this purchase. In practice, the open source nature of what we need could allow for any company in the field to build the units – even though it is COTS as you mention.

Question 189:  In the document, “Requirements Answer Template for White Rabbit based Time Distribution System” page 3, section 1.1, the procurement object 1 asks for some R&D. What do you mean exactly?

Answer 189: COTS would not require any R&D, but as a consequence of what we describe above, we must open for R&D even though we do not expect or even want any.