Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

photograph of part of NIST's internet time service servers
Credit: J. Stoughton/NIST

NIST's Remote Time and Frequency Measurement Service

Delivering Quality Assurance to Labs Worldwide

What is this Service?

NIST provides laboratories around the world with convenient, continuous access to top-quality time and frequency measurements.

These services compare the performance of a customer’s instruments and products to the U.S. standards maintained by NIST. Customers consider this measurement assurance to be essential to their daily operations.

examples of how T&F measurements help customers include ensuring electronic test equipment meets performance goals, financial firms using for time-stamping transactions and accreditation for measurement-related assessments.
Credit: K. Irvine/NIST and Shutterstock

How do NIST's remote time and frequency calibration services work?

NIST sends the customer reliable, user-friendly electronic equipment, which contains elements such as a GPS receiver and a hardware clock.

This equipment:

This equipment: automatically measures the performance of the customer’s instruments or computers, •	compares the measurements to NIST standards via GPS, and returns the results via the internet
Credit: K. Irvine/NIST and Shutterstock

The NIST equipment records results continuously so customers can establish traceability to the International System of Measurements (SI) without moving their in-house standards, reducing their costs.

NIST staff add value by:

  • monitoring the measurements

  • answering questions and providing technical support

  • helping customers get the most out of the system

Who uses these services?

Customer labs are located at:

Graphic showing general information about where Time and Frequency services customers are located
Credit: K. Irvine/NIST

NIST's remote customers are:

Pie chart showing the distribution of Time and Frequency services customer base
Credit: K. Irvine/NIST

Statistics shared in this infographic are from a paper, "The Reach and Impact of the Remote Frequency and Time Calibration Program at NIST," written by Michael A. Lombardi.

Learn more about NIST's Time and Frequency Services.

Created August 23, 2018, Updated September 10, 2018