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Using Master Clocks in Airport Surveillance Radar Modernisation Program

Compact time server

Posted by Laura B
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Masterclock is our exclusive partner for precise time and frequency solutions, and their products are used in mission critical operations around the globe. We support them here in the UK in a wide range of markets, including defence, broadcast and communications. One area that is especially suited to their cutting-edge timing and synchronisation products is radar systems.

The GMR1000 is one of the leading products in Masterclock’s portfolio – a compact time server that can sync to a variety of timing references and provide a range of outputs including NTP, IEEE1588 PTP, IRIG-B, SMPTE, 10Mhz, 1PPS and more.

The Federal Aviation Administration has selected the GMR1000 to be used as the primary timing source for a modernisation upgrade to airport surveillance radar systems around the USA. The award is the culmination of a significant commitment to an extensive validation effort, ensuring precise integration of modern timing technology into the legacy system environment.

System operators around the country are being asked to extend the lifespans of critical infrastructure beyond their original design considerations and capabilities. This modernisation effort was initiated by the FAA in response to the obsolescence of legacy elements critical to system operations, alongside the availability of commercial internet protocol (IP)-based equipment capable of providing equivalent functionality.

Each GMR1000 is equipped with on-board GPS reception capabilities for long-term steering, as well as quartz crystal oscillators (OCXOs) to provide accurate holdover. These oscillators mitigate disruptions to GPS availability while ensuring accurate timing signals continue to be delivered via Precise Time Protocol (PTP) to downstream dependent equipment during a disrupted RF environment.

The successful integration, evaluation, and value proposition led to a sole-source announcement for the Masterclock GMR1000 as the preferred solution for the project earlier this year.

Masterclock has created a cost-effective and robust platform with the GMR1000 to meet these legacy and present needs. If you’d like more information, or to discuss how the GMR1000 might be a great fit for your application please get in touch via email:, or by phone - +44 1672 511166.


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