NPL is the UK's centre for precise time and frequency measurement.
We operate the group of atomic clocks that form the national time scale, known as UTC(NPL).
The time scale provides the reference for a range of services that disseminate the Time from NPL. These services include the MSF radio time signal, which synchronises a considerable number of radio-controlled clocks across the UK.
The clocks at NPL are compared with those at other national timing institutes and contribute to the international time scale using highly accurate time and frequency transfer methods. NPL is a world leader in the analysis of clock and time transfer data, and is making a key contribution to the development of the timing infrastructure of the Galileo satellite navigation system.
Find out more: What is the Time?
Time sectors & applications
- NPL operates a time and frequency transfer service that provides its customers with greater accuracy and data integrity than other commercially available time and frequency traceability routes.
- The NPL Monthly Bulletins for time & frequency cover the three standard-frequency and time radio signals that are most widely used in the UK: the MSF 60 kHz standard-frequency and time signal, the 198 kHz long-wave transmission from Droitwich radio station and the GPS navigation satellite signals.