Goes Satellite Time Code Dissemination

R.E. Beehler

Abstract: The National Bureau of Standards, in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has been disseminating a time code referenced to UTC (NBS) via two of NOAA's geostationary GOES satellites since 1975. A review of the GOES time code system, the performance achieved to date, and some potential improvements in the future will be discussed. The disseminated time code is originated from a triply redundant set of atomic standards, time code generators and related equipment maintained by NBS at NOAA'S Wallops Island, VA satellite control facility. It is relayed by two GOES satellites located at 75°W and 135°W longitude on a continuous basis to users within North and South America (with overlapping coverage) and well out into the Atlantic and Pacific ocean areas. Downlink frequencies are near 468 MHz. The signals from both satellites are monitored and controlled from the NBS Tabs at Boulder, CO with additional monitoring input from geographically separated receivers in Washington, DC and Hawaii. Received time code accuracies are typically better than 1 ms if the user only applies a constant correction to compensate approximately for his geographical location or better than 100 us if manual or automatic corrections are applied for path delay using satellite position data encoded into the GOES time code signals. Performance experience with the received time codes for periods ranging from several years to one day is discussed. Results are also presented for simultaneous, common-view reception by co-located receivers and by receivers separated by several thousand kilometers. Based on the general acceptance of the GOES time code, NBS and NOAA have recently extended their formal Memorandum-of-Agreement to continue the GOES time code operations for at least an additional five-year period.
Published in: Proceedings of the 14th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting
November 30 - 3, 1982
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland
Pages: 57 - 82
Cite this article: Beehler, R.E., "Goes Satellite Time Code Dissemination," Proceedings of the 14th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, Greenbelt, Maryland, November 1982, pp. 57-82.
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