[LEAPSECS] ITU-R SG7 to consider UTC on October 4
seaman at noao.edu
Wed Aug 4 15:26:18 EDT 2010
On Aug 4, 2010, at 10:30 AM, Steve Allen wrote:
> According to the ITU-R the next meeting of SG7 will happen in Geneva
> 2010-10-04 and 2010-10-12.
Makes one wonder what they'll do with the intercalary week in between...
> Timofeev has released a questionnaire to the delegations along with
> instructions that SG7 should only consider technical issues.
> Technical issues would mean the draft is to return to WP7A.
> Other-then-technical issues are to be referred to the
> Radiocommunication Assembly.
Proper system engineering practices do not artificially separate
requirements into technical versus other-than-technical bins. Some
technical requirements are non-quantitative. Many "other"
requirements are eminently quantitative. A trade-off requires
building figures-of-merit for all requirements and evaluating
different schemes for combining and contrasting the quantitative
scores and the sensitivity of different issues to various parameters.
By all means debate the issues - although does the Radiocommunication
Assembly have a broad enough mandate to appropriately address the
issues? However, don't pretend that only real engineers can properly
understand technical issues, while "other-than-technical" issues are
some mash-up of trivial politics.
> Do you support maintaining the current arrangement of linking UT1
> and UTC (to provide a celestial time reference)?
Yes. The current standard is viable for centuries, providing copious
time to discuss options outside the current politicized process.
> Do you have any technical difficulty in introducing leap second
No. The alternative would cause more trouble than it naively claims
> Would you support the revision of Recommendation ITU-R TF.460-6?
No. And TF.460-6 doesn't resolve the underlying geophysical issue or
provide a future standards path to make the inevitable much larger and
more intrusive adjustments to civil timekeeping that will be needed.
> If it is agreed to eliminate leap second within 5 years after
> approval of the revision of Recommendation ITU-R TF.460-6, would
> that create technical difficulties for your administration?
> The US draft answers from USWP7A Chairman Wayne Hanson are
USWP7A clearly doesn't represent the interests of astronomers or of
general civil timekeeping.
Civil timekeeping is layered on mean solar time - a constant offset
from the underlying sidereal period. Pretending otherwise is naive.
Those professionals who need a timescale without leap seconds have
numerous options to choose from. Leave UTC alone. UTC without leap
seconds would no longer be a flavor of Universal Time.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory
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