[LEAPSECS] Coming of age in the solar system

M. Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Sat Sep 4 19:22:38 EDT 2010

In message: <96097.1283640204 at critter.freebsd.dk>
"Poul-Henning Kamp" <phk at phk.freebsd.dk> writes:

: >> I know several facilities of various kinds I which schedule their

: >> yearly maintenance during leap-seconds, or shut down extraordinarily.

: >

: >let's discuss these then. URL please?


: What I can disclose publically has been disclosed publically on

: this list previously. What has been relayed to me in confidence

: stays in confidence.


: Some of these organizations could get in stock-holder or regulatory

: trouble, if their "deficient operating practices" were disclosed.

I've also heard of some military installations that shut down their
non-critical operations around a leap second. They have had gear fail
in the past due to leap seconds, so in an abundance of caution they
shut non-critical operations down just to be safe. Evidently, the
failures weren't 'off by a second,' but instead involved some piece of
hardware failing hard, requiring a reset afterwards.

There was a cryptic reference to loss of life in the Turin leap second
survey. No details were given apart from the fact that one of the
failures caused loss of life. I went looking for this survey, and
can't seem to find it now, maybe someone on the list cached a copy?

The closes I can find now is http://aas.org/files/DDA-UTCreport.pdf
which talks about GLONASS failure that could have resulted in loss of
life (page 9), but doesn't document an actual loss of life.

A space shuttle launch was postponed due to risks around leap seconds:

"Leaping forward. John Knight reported that a Shuttle launch
scheduled to cross the end-of-year 1989 was delayed, to avoid
the software risks of both the year-end rollover and a
leap-second correction that took place at the same time."


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