[LEAPSECS] GPS week-number data field size (was W1K GPS rollover for some time servers)

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Tue May 5 17:32:14 EDT 2015

On May 5, 2015, at 6:38 AM, Tom Van Baak <tvb at leapsecond.com> wrote:

> But adapting to new requirements, to new possibilities, to new performance is ok. This is one reason why I sympathize with those who want to abandon leap seconds.

Discovering new requirements doesn't mean old engineering requirements cease.

> When leap seconds were proposed in the 60's, AC plugs were all 2-prong, radio chassis were hot, DOS didn't exist, 110 baud was standard, electronic voltages were 6.3 VAC (filament) and ~250 VDC (plate B+), there were no quartz wrist watches, or airbags. Evolution is ok. It might even be natural.

These examples are not at the same level as leap seconds.  Rather the requirements derived from "day" meaning "synodic day" are similar to recognizing that electrons have a negative charge, or Ohm's Law.  Both of these continue to be addressed even if you use a different international power plug, or CMOS versus TTL.

It is simply fact that solar time and atomic time are two distinct kinds of timescale, that frequency standards and clocks are two different things.  Leap seconds are one tested mechanism for managing the distinction.


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