Title: Traceable Time Dissemination with NTP
Author(s): André Charbonneau, Rob Douglas and Marina Gertsvolf
Published in: Proceedings of the 49th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting
January 29 - 1, 2018
Hyatt Regency Reston
Reston, Virginia
Pages: 237 - 243
Cite this article: Charbonneau, André, Douglas, Rob, Gertsvolf, Marina, "Traceable Time Dissemination with NTP," Proceedings of the 49th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, Reston, Virginia, January 2018, pp. 237-243.
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Abstract: In recent years market regulations have tightened the time synchronization requirements for the financial sector. In Canada and in the United States the current regulation guidelines specify 50ms time stamp accuracy with explicit requirement for traceability to UTC. The Network Time Protocol, NTP, has been implemented for time synchronization throughout the digital world and is used in most networked equipment today. From the technical performance perspective NTP algorithm can satisfy the 50 ms requirements in the majority of applications. However, no rigorous calibration and traceability methods and tools satisfying the requirements of metrological traceability, accredited calibrations or standard compliance are widely available. We at NRC have developed a new time dissemination service, NRC TimeLinkTM - Monitored NTP, which provides metrological traceability for the measurement of the client NTP server’s system time offset with respect to UTC(NRC) or UTC. The new service utilizes standard NTP methods, but adds the use of a stratum server traceable to UTC(NRC), automated monitoring and alert system, and performance report generation, all required for achieving traceable time dissemination. Monitored NTP service is based on NTP queries of the client server, done with the NRC operated stratum server that has its internal clock synchronized to and calibrated against UTC(NRC), derived from the NRC atomic clock ensemble.