How Does GPS Network Time Synchronization Work?

Whether you're trying to get people to show up for a meeting or managing a scalable cloud-based business application, synchronicity is vital. Countless stakeholders and machines play essential roles in your processes. Keeping them all on the same timetable lets your organization move forward as a cohesive unit.

As far as networked hardware is concerned, you can't afford timing disparities. Here's how network time synchronization works and how to make your practices more effective.

Are You Ready for the Next GPS Week Number Rollover?

Click here to read the Department of Homeland Security’s memorandum about the upcoming Global Positioning System Week Number Rollover Event.

Do your networks or systems use Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC? April 6, 2019, is probably a date worth marking in advance. Unlike a regular calendar event or holiday, this day will mark a special rollover of the GPS week number, or WN, that helps receivers tell time more precisely.  

The only question is whether your devices will react to the rollover event properly. Here's what you should know. 

Network Synchronization: Internet NTP Servers vs. GPS NTP Servers


Measuring time is about more than merely knowing when events occur. It's a vital prerequisite for synchronizing your operations, securing your data and serving your clientele. It pays to be precise, accurate and on-time, and your ability to do so depends on how good your time server is.

Unfortunately, you're unsure which kind of time server is best. You've narrowed it down to two choices: internet-based NTP and GPS-referenced Stratum 1 NTP. The distinctions aren't so clear, but these facts might make it easier to pick wisely.

Digital Clocks Keep Manufacturing Facilities in Sync

Synchronized time keeps your organization on-time, on-track and on-budget while helping to ensure compliance with ever-increasing traceability regulations. Even if your clocks are fairly accurate and only lose or gain a minute or two, those minutes can turn into hundreds of thousands of minutes of lost productivity when they affect each employee. A synchronized clock system ensures that your company can meet its time commitments, avoid unnecessary waste, meet transportation deadlines and streamline production. 

GPS Over Fiber Optic Timing Technology

In the world of timing systems, precision and accuracy are everything. In order to synchronize components across great distances, it’s vital that you retain the ability to communicate cleanly. 

Most typical coax-based GPS timing networks you encounter in the real world fall prey to basic signal propagation challenges. Latency, degradation, and interference are among some of your worst enemies, and your existing systems may not be able to overcome them. Could optical fiber systems hold the key to building superior timing architectures?