The Role of GPS in Precise Time and Frequency Dissemination

Known primarily as a navigation system, the global positioning system is also used to disseminate precise time, time intervals, and frequency. The GPS carrier signals originate from on-board atomic clocks monitored by ground control stations, as depicted in Figure 1. GPS satellites transmit time signals with each subframe of data modulated onto the carrier. While navigation and survey receivers use GPS time to aid in computation of position solutions, time and frequency receivers use GPS satellite transmissions to control timing signals and oscillators.

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