A NTP GPS Server is a type of time server that uses Network Time Protocol (NTP) as a method for synchronizing the time on network devices and computers after receiving a time signal from he GPS network.
The GPS (Global Positioning System) network is a constellation of satellites owned and operated by the USA military. Most people are aware of GPS as an aid for satellite navigation. In actual fact, the basis of the transmissions broadcast by the GPS satellites is a time signal. This time signal is generated by the satellite’s onboard atomic clock. It is this information that a satellite navigation system receives and calculates by triangulation the distance away from the satellites.
This timing signal is what is used by a NTP GPS server as a reference to synchronize a network too. NTP then distributes this time to all routers and computers on that network.
A NTP GPS server comprises of a GPS receiver, GPS antenna and NTP software. The GPS antenna should be situated on a rooftop which will give the best possibility of receiving the transmissions from the satellites.
The GPS receiver then converts this information into timing information that can be read and distributed by NTP.
While the atomic clocks onboard the GPS satellites do not transmit a UTC timing code (Coordinated Universal Time). However, NTP has the ability to convert the atomic clock from the satellites to UTC. This allows computer networks to be synchronized to the same universal time source no matter where they are in the world.
Using a dedicated NTP GPS server a network can be synchronized to within a few milliseconds of UTC time with accuracies of a few hundred nanoseconds made possible over LAN’s.