Master Clock Facility
US Naval Observatory

Ever wonder where time is set?


It happens at the United States Naval Observatory (USNO), which serves as the official source of time for the entire country and provides the precise time reference for the entire Department of Defense. Such an exact task requires complete environmental control. But when updates are needed, they have to be completed quickly — and correctly.

In 2004, several buildings at the Master Clock facility that affected the reliability of the clock’s environment were experiencing shortcomings in environmental control. The Navy selected Wiley|Wilson to develop design documents in order to build a facility to house both the existing and any future clock devices. This facility provided the controlled environment necessary to hold the state-of-the-art Rubidium fountain clocks that had been developed to meet operational requirements for continuous operations.

But the company’s work with at the Master Clock facility didn’t end there.

Recently, Wiley|Wilson was called upon again to provide architectural and mechanical engineering services to develop the DD 1391, and create the supporting documents for those master clocks that are still in substandard facilities. We created redundant HVAC and building systems for the new Master Clock facility and designed renovations to the existing Naval Observatory buildings. Finally, we completed a Site Investigation Report of the historic campus.