Time and frequency services
The National Measurement Institute's (NMI) time and frequency measurement services are the most accurate in Australia. We maintain Australia’s official time and frequency dissemination service, and support clients through calibrations, consultancy and training.
We provide services to clients from a broad range of sectors. Our clients are from laboratories, universities, industry and government. This includes clients from other laboratories accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). Our services include:
- precision instrument calibration and testing
- time and frequency dissemination
- WebTimer, our low cost service for verifying stopwatches and timers
- consultancy, including advice on quality assurance
- contract research and development
- customised training in time and frequency measurement
We deliver our client services in our Lindfield facility. This is the same laboratory where we conduct research and development to develop and maintain the national standards for time and frequency.
Time and frequency calibration and testing services
We calibrate most reference grade instruments, equipment, systems and standards that measure time and frequency. We calibrate to the national standards which we maintain. Measurements made with instruments we calibrate are traceable to the national and international standards for time.
Instruments and standards we calibrate
- phase meters
- stop watches
- custom-built devices
For enquiries about calibration email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time and frequency calibration and testing capabilities
Our uncertainty capabilities are the lowest possible in Australia, which means our calibrations are the most accurate. Our uncertainties are as low as 20 ns for time, and 2·10-13 for frequency.
Our time and frequency measurement capabilities are NATA-accredited. NATA publishes our capabilities as part of the accreditation process. This includes measurement ranges for instruments we calibrate and test, with associated uncertainties of measurement. For more information, see our NATA Scope of Accreditation: NMI Time and Frequency Project.
Times vary depending on demand and complexity. We liaise with clients to meet their schedule requirements wherever possible. Typical timing is:
- wait time: 2 to 4 weeks
- turnaround time: 2 to 3 days
- calibration report: 1 to 2 weeks
Indicative service costs
Our services are for clients who need the highest accuracy possible. This includes other NATA-accredited laboratories. Most NATA accredited laboratories provide results traceable to the national standards. These laboratories can provide a lower-level calibration service that suits the needs of many clients, at more competitive rates.
We don’t provide a set price list for our calibration services. We customise our service and quotation to meet each client’s needs, for each instrument.
Request a quote for calibration.
Time and frequency dissemination service
We provide Australia’s official time and frequency dissemination service. This is for users who need to know accurate time of day, traceable to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) Australia (AUS).
Our time and frequency dissemination services are:
- a global positioning system (GPS) time-transfer system
- GPS integrity monitoring and reporting
- network time protocol (NTP) servers
- dialup synchronisation through the Automated Computer Time Service (ACTS)
We offer services based on our GPS time-transfer system. This is for clients who need traceable time of day or continuous frequency calibration.
We have 30 NMI GPS time-transfer systems operating throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. Each system combines a GPS timing receiver and computer, with custom data-logging and processing software. The key features of our system are:
- remote operation via the Internet
- ability to operate as an NTP server
- adaptable and customisable to suit client needs
For more information or a customised quotation, email email@example.com or phone +61 2 8467 3501.
GPS integrity monitoring
We monitor and report on GPS satellite signal integrity at our Lindfield facility and around Australia. We measure and report on daily values of UTC(AUS)–GPS time. We publish reports on our file transfer protocol (FTP) server at:
- ftp://time.nmi.gov.au/pub/timedata/gps/APMP_data/GPS_Integrity, the file name format is MJD.html, where MJD is the Modified Julian Day
- ftp://time.nmi.gov.au/pub/timedata/reports, the file name format is nmimm-yy.gps, where mm-yy is the month and last two digits of the year
Please note: you cannot access the FTP server using Internet Explorer or Safari web browsers.
Users must register their computer for our NTP service, and have a static IP address. Our NTP servers won’t respond to computers with unregistered IP addresses. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telephone dialup service for synchronising computers
We offer a telephone dial-up service for synchronising computers. This is for clients who can't access our NTP servers through the internet.
Our dialup service uses the Automated Computer Time Service (ACTS) protocol. ACTS doesn't work with digital modems, such as cable, wireless and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) modems.
For further information email email@example.com.
WebTimer service for stopwatch and timer verification
The WebTimer is a web-based service for verifying stopwatches and timers against a traceable standard for time. It is commonly used by laboratories to satisfy NATA guidance for regular timer verification. The annual fee for a subscription is currently $55. Time-interval measurements reported by the WebTimer are traceable to the Australian primary standard for time, UTC(AUS).
The WebTimer measures the time interval between two clicks of a button on a user’s computer. It also calculates and reports the measurement uncertainties on-screen. Users can print and save a report of their time-interval measurement that documents uncertainties and traceability. There is a sample report available for download.
For more information, or to access the WebTimer:
- try the WebTimer to see if the network delays are sufficiently small for your application
- register an account for the WebTimer and purchase a subscription to activate your account
- read documentation on the traceability of WebTimer measurements including an example uncertainty calculation for a stopwatch verification.
We work with clients to understand their measurement issues or opportunities. We deliver services in:
- precision time and frequency measurement
- research and development on short or long-term projects
- advice and support for compliance with documentary standards (Standards Australia or International Organization for Standardization)
- support and advice for clients facing complex measurement problems
- guidance for clients seeking funding under the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program
- advice for product development, measurement integrity and quality assurance
For more information about our consultancy services email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training and education
We provide time and frequency measurement training and education for industry. We offer short-courses through our training and assessment program and deliver bespoke training directly through our laboratory. Our courses cover topics such as:
- measurement principals and techniques
- traceability and standards
- calibrating instruments
We can customise training for individuals or teams including training to use instruments, systems and standards we design and manufacture.
For more information email email@example.com
- Read the terms and conditions for our calibration services
- Find out how Australia’s measurement system works
- Learn about research grants for businesses under the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) program
- For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +61 2 8467 3501.
- For calibration enquiries, email email@example.com or phone +61 2 8467 3836
- For general enquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1800 020 076
- Post to National Measurement Institute, GPO Box 2013, CANBERRA ACT 2601
Connect with us
- Join us on Facebook @NMIAustralia
- Follow us on Twitter @NMIAustralia
- Follow the National Measurement Institute on LinkedIn
- Learn how the international standard (SI) unit for time, the second, is calculated by the BIPM
- Read about the international reference time scales, maintained by the BIPM
- Find a NATA-accredited laboratory that offers time and frequency measurement services
- Learn about documentary standards in Australia, maintained by Standards Australia (SA)
- Learn about international documentary standards, maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- Learn about Network Time Protocol (NTP) from the Network Time Foundation
Last updated: 12 November 2020
Content ID: 63537