GPS vs. GNSS: Understanding PNT Satellite Systems

A GNSS, or Global Navigation Satellite System, is a generic name for a group of artificial satellites that send position and timing data from their high orbits. The GPS, or Global Positioning System, is just one of the many different sets of satellites that can provide such data.

Most satellite navigation systems operate on similar principles. The satellites are arranged in geosynchronous orbits – Each one's speed and altitude is carefully controlled so that it stays in the same place in the sky.

Are You Ready for the Next GPS WNRO (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: Public 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?