What Is a GPS Clock System?

The Global Positioning System isn’t just handy for helping people get where they need to go. It’s also used to help businesses keep extraordinarily accurate time.

How do GPS clock systems work>

The GPS clock system is based on atomic clock technology. Each of the 31 working satellites in the GPS network has a highly-accurate atomic clock built-in. These atomic clocks are synchronized and guided by a single master clock on the ground which is controlled by the United States Naval Observatory. From there, the satellite clocks dictate the correct time for all internet-connected devices, such as computers and smartphones, through the internet.

What’s wrong with other clocks?

However, these clocks that use WiFi aren’t the accurate timekeepers we think they are. Even more accurate clocks communicate with satellites directly to display super-accurate time. These GPS clock systems have a time transfer accuracy of 40 nanoseconds or less, meaning it takes almost no time at all for them to receive the correct time from GPS satellites and correct their own timekeeping accordingly.

Some businesses rely on standard, mass-produced electric clocks for their timekeeping. These clocks are made using low-cost components. They’re also cheap, so they’re a less significant investment for companies. However, over the course of a month, cheap clocks can lag by as much as five minutes or more. Clocks built into personal computers can be just as bad or even worse.

On the other end of the spectrum are the atomic clocks used by GPS clock systems. These provide incredible levels of accuracy. Thanks to GPS satellites streaming their highly-accurate time information across the globe, everyone on earth can have access to the benefits of a highly-accurate atomic clock without actually having an atomic clock locally.

Invest in GPS clock systems for your business today

Network time servers and master clocks are able to receive and process incredibly accurate time from the Global Positioning System. This timing information is used then to synchronize internal clocks within the business facility, providing a time resource for slave clocks and network time clients. Thanks to this setup, clients can synchronize their timekeeping within just a few milliseconds of national time standards as dictated by GPS. This gives business systems a legally traceable time source, which is integral for many everyday company processes.

Applications for GPS clock systems include monitoring and control systems, network timing, and all time-critical processes. Having a GPS clock system or similar setup is essential for many businesses to maintain accurate tracking for employee hours worked and networking processes.

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