[LEAPSECS] What's the point?

Ian Batten igb at batten.eu.org
Tue Feb 15 02:58:55 EST 2011

On 15 Feb 2011, at 05:46, Rob Seaman wrote:

> Combining these improved predictions with prudently relaxed DUT1 constraints should permit extending leap second scheduling to several years.


> These steps can be taken today with no tedious international negotiations.

The UK's standard time broadcast, which is funded by the government, contains DUT1 in a format which doesn't permit |DUT1|>0.9. Whatever people argue (rightly) about the de facto legal time in the UK being UTC, the de jure legal time is "GMT" which is taken to be UT1. It's somewhat difficult to see how to resolve that: MSF has to broadcast UK legal time, and there are huge amounts of equipment that grok the format it broadcasts. As to how much of that uses DUT1 is unknown, but whatever you do to fit a large |DUT1| into the format it has to avoid breaking devices which don't use it. Deciding to not broadcast an accurate DUT1 is a technical option, but it would have legal ramifications.


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