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Experts consider consequences of ‘leap second’ elimination

by david.nunes

Experts consider consequences of ‘leap second’ elimination

ITU and BIPM hold first joint workshop on international time scale

Geneva, 16 September 2013 – ITU experts and membership along with other organizations have been studying the consequences of eliminating the so-called ‘leap second’ to adjust to the earth’s rotation in relation to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the current standard for measuring time.

In January 2012, the ITU Radiocommunication Assembly deferred the decision to develop a continuous time standard that would entail the elimination of the ‘leap second’. The decision was reached to ensure that all technical options have been fully addressed before the matter is referred to next Radiocommunication Assembly and World Radiocommunication Conference in 2015.

The suppression of the leap second would make continuous time scale available for all the modern electronic navigation and computerized systems to operate with and eliminate the need for specialized ad hoc time systems.

A workshop will be conducted at ITU headquarters in Geneva jointly with the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), which maintains UTC in cooperation with the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS).


Press conference on ‘Future of International Time Scale’: Workshop organized by ITU and International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM)


20 September at 14:30


ITU Press room (Tower Building)


Discuss consequences of eliminating the leap second in UTC and examine Future Development of GNSS – global navigation systems


Experts from ITU and International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM): Ron Beard, Chairman, ITU-R Working Party on time signals and frequency standard emissions; Vincent Meens, Chairman, ITU-R Study Group for Science Services on dissemination, reception and coordination of standard-frequency and time-signal services; Elisa Felicitas Arias, Director of Time Department, BIPM; and Vadim Nozdrin, ITU Radiocommunication Bureau Study Group Counsellor.

About ITU
ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology. For nearly 150 years, ITU has coordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve communication infrastructure in the developing world, and established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to new-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology and converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world.

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