Ian Batten igb at batten.eu.org
Tue Jan 17 05:12:59 EST 2012

On 17 Jan 2012, at 0739, Tom Van Baak wrote:

> Ah, if name changes are allowed, then here's a solution:


> Rename "UTC" to "UTD"

> -- That's D for slightly drifting, the kind of timescale

> that astronomers need, the one with leap seconds so

> that it very closely follows UT1 but counts at an SI rate.


> Take TAI minus 34 seconds and call it "UTC"

> -- That's C for civil, the kind of deterministic continuous

> timescale that almost all 21st century technology and

> persons using such technology would prefer.

Which of those would WWV, MSF, DCF77, etc, tick? Which of them would the main public NTP network tick? Because I have the impression that the astronomy communities' requirements don't only extend to "having something that behaves like UTC now, with |DUT1|<1" or even "having something that behaves like UTC now that is called UTC", but "having something that behaves like UTC now, is called UTC and is disseminated along the same channels as UTC currently is". Which is a deal breaker, because whatever a country adopts as civil time, that's going to be the primary payload on its national broadcast standards: MSF may currently broadcast UTC(NPL), but it's funded to provide UK civil time (which is perhaps why, if I recall correctly, the payload steps for summer time and the flag is set to indicate it is summer time, rather than vice versa). If MSF didn't broadcast UK civil time, or a very close approximation to it (this, of course, opens up the whole "UK legal time is UT, not UTC" issue), then I can't really see why the DTI would be funding it.


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