Development of a Time & Frequency Lab at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica

Terrence Jones, Hunston Hunter, Garfield Morgan, Ryan White

Abstract: The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) serving as the National Metrology Institute (NMI), is initiating the establishment of a national time and frequency laboratory. This initiative aims to introduce internationally standardized, traceable measurements of time, enhancing accuracy and reducing measurement errors. The laboratory addresses a critical need as many Jamaican businesses rely heavily on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) like GPS for their operations. The BSJ Time and Frequency laboratory, through prior activities, submitted cesium data to the Sistema Interamericano de Metrologia (SIM) for lab comparisons. Recently, new equipment has been acquired and a new laboratory has been under development to increase the calibration capabilities. The resilient time and frequency laboratory will provide reliable time sources for critical applications, reducing dependence on GPS and ensuring operational reliability. Furthermore, the laboratory will generate its own predictions of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) as UTC(BSJ), aligning Jamaican time standards with global benchmarks, benefiting businesses, consumers and the nation at large. The rapid growth of financial transactions in Jamaica has driven the rise of high-frequency trading (HFT), characterized by lightning-fast algorithmic trading. Services such as authenticated NTP are in development at BSJ, along with the calibration of time-base instruments. BSJ has been collaborating with several other Sistema Interamericano de Metrologia (SIM) laboratories to develop a world-class time and frequency laboratory. A study is being done to understand how these National Metrology Institutes such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Metrology Center of Mexico (CENAM) realize their standard time. The current method Jamaica has adopted, which employs the use of a turnkey system is discussed and compared to NIST and CENAM. The anticipated result is that the laboratory capabilities will deem it qualifiable to contribute data files to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) to gain its traceability to UTC. It is also expected that the Network Time Protocol (NTP) will be capable of providing timing services to the public and authenticated users to within 50 mS.
Published in: Proceedings of the 55th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting
January 22 - 25, 2024
Hyatt Regency Long Beach
Long Beach, California
Pages: 1 - 15
Cite this article: Jones, Terrence, Hunter, Hunston, Morgan, Garfield, White, Ryan, "Development of a Time & Frequency Lab at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica," Proceedings of the 55th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, Long Beach, California, January 2024, pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.33012/2024.19583
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