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Master clocks for Airport – All You Need To Know About The Role Of Time Servers In Airports


Many would not know the essentiality of a master clock in the airport. The management of different flight timings requires a stable solution. One has to find a reliable solution for synchronizing the timings. A master clock is a perfect solution for this. From synchronizing the time signals to displaying accurate time on the display boards, the importance of such highly reliable clocks is remarkable.


Master clock – The upgraded solution 


A master clock is an accurate device that generates signals for time synchronization. It synchs the signal and frequency with the slave clocks and represents part of the clock setup. It is an integral part of network devices as well. Any industry where the timing and signal synch is crucial necessitates a master clock setup. The electrically updated master clock brings the best outcome and fills the synchronization gap with the new and improved time-signal protocols. 


Accuracy in airports – How does it matter?


Now coming back to airports, the prime topic of discussion. How does the airport utilize the master clocks? Anyone having experience traveling by air can recall the number of time display boards in the airport. Every display board exhibits the same time with the precise signal and frequency. The master clock sets it all into a perfect line. It helps in synchronizing with the precise signal and frequency. 


Think practical to decode the benefits


Why do you think the high degree of reliability for timing and signaling is critical at the airport? Understand that the airport runs in a hectic conditions. Coordination creates the backbone of the airport functionalities. From ground staff to pilots to passengers, everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to timing. A moment's delay can cause a haphazard in the overall flight take-off schedules. It is a practical aspect and easily understandable if you think analytically. 


  1. Time stamps and their significance – Accurate time stamps in the airport have a significant role to play. It helps in maintaining precise timing across the numerous sub-systems running simultaneously. The airport infrastructure is huge and you need a single-point management system to synchronize the time stamps to ensure zero chances of mismatch and mismanagement. The time stamps help in - Flight monitoring, Flight schedules, Radar data, Data exchange, etc. 
  2. Reliability of time and data – Reliability is the most crucial aspect of time and signaling in the airport infrastructure. It also determines the security of the setup. If there is a synchronization loss or data distortion, the entire setup can come to a standstill. So, it is vital to avoid any chances of data loss in the airport synchronization setup.
  3. An efficient and running setup – Late flights and delays in flight schedules are not the desired scenario at an international or domestic airport. It is essential to keep the airport function efficient and check the accuracy of timing. As everything depends on the timing of the sub-systems, IT network, infrastructural network, PIS (Passenger information system), automated setups, and many more, you can never take chances. 


NTP for accuracy in airports


While discussing the master clock and its significance in the airport, can you ignore NTP? It is the abbreviation for network time protocol. It is an integral part of a master clock and is globally recognized. It helps in time synch and assures optimal maintenance of universal time and coordination. A master clock takes the assistance of an NTP server and creates a precision clock architecture to ease the needs of the primary system and sub-systems in the airport infrastructure. 


One can find the direct use of NTP servers for the sub-system infrastructural devices in the airport like – CCTV, IT panels, access and control points, car parking spaces, etc. All the clocks act as slave clocks to the primary master clock and get monitored via the time server protocol – NTP. You can also find redundant NTP or PTP servers in the setup to combat the requirements in case of GPS failures or signal disruptions. The automated switch between the chief clock and slave clocks ensures security maintenance of the time system in the airport time ecosystem. 


Time synchronization for slave clocks – The essential aspect


Time synchronization requirements for airport NTP network, digital and analog clocks

depend on the classic concept of master and slave synch. The time server of a master clock acts as the supreme point for the rest. The clocks in the airport infrastructure set the timing and correct the clock lag by synching with the master clock data. It happens automatically but one can also monitor it remotely. As these get connected over POE and LAN/WAN, there is no requirement for additional installation or infrastructural support. 


Solutions and products apt for airports


So, you can see that an airport necessitates a master source for the chief clock and signaling data. The rest gets synched to it for bringing uniformity in the overall functioning and scheduling. Following are the two primary types of clocks found in modern airports to ease the needs – 


  • Time server and master clocks – The time server/master clock from a reputed source and reliable NTP helps in the successful synch of the network in the entire airport infrastructure. The distinct modes in the upgraded master clocks allow self-setting and remote monitoring for ease of management. 
  • Display clocks for infrastructure – Display clocks for the requirements of passengers and anyone accessing the facilities in the airport are also an integral part of airport infrastructure. The synched time gets displayed on the boards and allows passengers to access precise information about flight schedules. 


Determining the right solution – Choosing the master clock


One has to find a world-class solution to ensure the optimal working setup in the airport. Get the perfectly working master clock to ease the synching needs. Choose the master clock carefully from a distributer having years of reputation in the field. Focus on reliability, reputation, and quality to avoid making a wrong move. Improve the timekeeping setup in a network-based infrastructure with the new-age solutions of the technically advanced master clock and time servers. These clocks are vital for end-users like – Airport authorities, broadcasting channels, hospitals, space and research centers, etc. They source it from EIV contractors and master clock system integrators. If you also need such a setup, be wise to recognize the best distributor for the resources.