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A Low-Cost Time Transfer Receiver for Contributions to Coordinated Universal Time



Michael A. Lombardi, Andrew N. Novick, Victor S. Zhang


This paper describes a low-cost time transfer receiver that allows timing laboratories, including national metrology institutes and other designated institutions, to contribute data to the computation of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The time transfer receiver compares a laboratory's local realization of UTC, to signals broadcast by Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. It stores the measurement results in a format compatible with international standards, and sends data via the Internet to the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) for inclusion in the UTC computation. In addition to being inexpensive, the receiver was designed to be easy to use, allowing recently established timing laboratories to begin contributing to UTC with a minimal investment in training.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) - 119.024
Report Number


Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), Global Positioning System (GPS), International Atomic Time (TAI), time transfer


Lombardi, M. , Novick, A. and Zhang, V. (2014), A Low-Cost Time Transfer Receiver for Contributions to Coordinated Universal Time, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created November 6, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018