[LEAPSECS] A slight digression.

Finkleman, Dave dfinkleman at agi.com
Sat Jan 29 12:13:25 EST 2011

First, two time scales, one civil and one technical, seems like a very good idea. Any correlation between them need not be scientifically precise. There is much literature on countries and religions with two or more calendars, some for ecclesiastical and some for commercial endeavors. Why not?

The digression. With verifiable communcation among IAU principals, I requested an addendum to the minutes of the October SG7 meeting, recorded by Dr. Arias. The real tsunami is yet to arrive, but Committee 31, Ian Corbett, and others are on the warpath. They are unwilling to acknowledge in any way the implicit (or explicit depending on your point of view) retraction of IAU endorsement of R460-6. BIPM has invited Ken Seidelmann to write an article in a forthcoming issue of Metrologica. I am sure that he will provide sound alternatives to Bob Nelson's article a few years ago. I will be in Geneva in April, and I have requsted a meeting with ITU principals. The ball is still rolling!

With regard to system engineering and the significance of knowing definitively what one needs to accomplish an essential task, I am delivering a paper at the USAF Ground Systems Architecture Workshop in LA in March that addresses this in a manner that reflects the exchanges on this thread. The topic is exchanging data relevant to imminent conjunctions among satellites. The (obvious) fundamental principle is that every element of data and metadata must be directly traceable to the well defined goal. Co-equal, sufficient data and metadata must be inclulded or adequately referenced from widely available sources to allow the user to reproduce or verify the information as his level of confidence requires. I confirm Rob's, Warner's, Poul-Henning's, and others' observations that few even think about what they are trying to accomplish and what they need to accomplish it -- or even if they need to do it at all.


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