FlightAware Discussions

MLAT sync and time source


Currently, my receiver has its date and time information synced over NTP, with Chrony.
My understanding of MLAT is it works with several received synchronized between them, and I wondered if its sync was relying on NTP time and heartbeat.

The question that comes behind is, would I improve my MLAT performance & reliability if I were using a precision source, like a GPS receiver, rather than the current Chrony sync?

Best regards,



Only way to improve anything is the Radarcape receiver which has a GPS clock “built into the receiver”.
But not sure if you would see any of that improvement in your MLAT positions.
Would need all of your peers to also use that receiver.

Best improvement for MLAT: best possible power supply and coordinates / altitude set very precisely.
If you can get a hold of other feeders close to you or provide additional feeders with good MLAT, that’s also a plus.

You can always try to participate in other MLAT networks.
As FA has very many receivers, they don’t have the computational power to use all that data to create MLAT positions.
So you might be receiving some MLAT aircraft, but not getting position feedback from FA because they are saving on CPU.

Thanks for your reply.

I think I don’t have performance issues in general, but as I have some time, I was thinking about possible ways to get a bit more out of my receiver!

Best regards,

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