Pin Me

How GPS Accurately Tracks Time

written by: Jogabs•edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 6/22/2010

Are you a time conscious individual? Then having the accurate time is very important! The rise of different technologies associated with time accuracy is proof of the importance of time. This article details how GPS devices get their time more accurately than your wristwatch.

  • slide 1 of 2

    How GPS Tracks Time Accurately

    How does GPS track time accurately? All of the currently developed time accuracy techniques are based on a frequency obtained through the energy from quantum conversion or with the atomic clock. Both of these include rebroadcasting time signals based on GPS or radio-controlled techniques.

  • slide 2 of 2

    Rebroadcasting Time Signals

    Is time important ? 

    Radio-controlled Signals

    Some signals are called radio-controlled signals because the time they provide is based on the synchronization of radio signals in atomic clocks. These atomic clocks are situated in NIST, or the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It is said that this technique is less reliable compared to the other one. Because of its structure and design, a radio-controlled watch becomes susceptible to different noises; hence, the reason it is less reliable. This technique is advised for personal and home use only.

    GPS-based or GPS Time Signals

    Each of the GPS satellites orbiting around the Earth has its own cesium atomic clock. The used of these clocks is to aid in determining the distance of an object from the satellite. And, all GPS-based watches are synchronized with the on-board atomic clocks of the twenty-four GPS satellites.

    By using a GPS receiver, GPS may send time information to the person. This time signal or information may be use to synchronize your clock with the GPS. The time signals that were sent were obtained together with the computation of position.

    Accordingly, a delay of one or two seconds is just normal. This delay is due to the distance that is traveled by the time before it reaches the earth. Rebroadcasting GPS time signals may require you to turn off your GPS receiver and then turn it on again. Give your receiver a period of two to three minutes to search for satellites. Once the GPS receiver finds the satellites, the time signals are already on the display.

    Because of the importance of time in businesses, GPS time signaled clocks are used for industrial purposes, specifically in buildings and offices. Weather and building structures and materials are less likely to affect its accuracy as long as there is a signal transmitter within it. Rebroadcasting the GPS time signals requires transmitters or antennas.

    GPS time signals don’t require cables. The best way for rebroadcasting GPS time signals in any business building is by having an antenna to collect signals and a signal amplifier to rebroadcast or redistribute the signal.

    Some signals and receivers have the capacity to strengthen signals obtained from the GPS satellite. To have a strong signal means having the most accurate time. There are different brands that offer rebroadcasting GPS time signal kits and accessories. Some of them have a feature that strengthens signal acquisition. Some claim they have something better than the others. If you want to be sure that you will be able to have a good signal to rebroadcast, try checking out Garmin GPS. Being one of the most reputable brands in GPS applications and devices, Garmin can give you the best rebroadcasting GPS time signal materials that you need.