# Best Practices for Leap Second Event Occurring on 30 June 2015

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4 7. Leap Second Problem Resolution If you know your system will not work through the leap second on 30 June 2015: a. Isolate the system from any external timing sources and manually insert the additional second at 23:59:59 UTC. Then reconnect the system after 00:00:00 UTC 1 July If a problem occurs after 23:59:59 on Tuesday, 30 June the following actions should be taken: a. Verify the time on the system by calling the time voice announcers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at (303) and (808) or the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) at (202) or (719) b. If the time is off by 1 second, then reset the time to the correct time indicated by the voice announcer and if necessary, restart the system. 8. Leap Second Reporting Historically leap second changes have created significant operational problems. All coordinated time scales will be affected by this adjustment. Please report operational challenges you experience to the United States Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN), via the NAVCEN Website, under "Report a GPS Problem" Thank you for supporting this effort to better understand leap second issues. 9. Leap Second History UTC uses the international system (SI) definition of the second, based on atomic clocks. a. Definition of a Second - In 1967 the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) defined the length of the second to be based on the atomic clock as follows. The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom. This defines the International System (SI) second. b. Definition of a Leap Second - A leap second is a one second adjustment that is applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to keep its time of day close to the mean solar time standard (UT1). UT1 is time based on precise measurement of the Earth s rotation. c. Determination of Leap Second Insertion - Insertion of each UTC leap second is usually decided several months in advance (in this case was in January 2015) by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), when needed to ensure that the difference between the UTC and UT1 readings will remain within +/- 0.9 second. International version pg. 4

5 International Atomic Time (TAI) is the uniform time scale based on the atomic clock; its unit interval defines the SI second. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is derived from TAI, to provide a reference scale in step with the irregular rotation of the Earth. Local realizations of UTC exist at the national time laboratories around the world. The two national timing standards for the U.S. are maintained at NIST, providing UTC(NIST), and at USNO, providing UTC(USNO). These standards are kept within 50 nanoseconds of each other. Climatic, geological, and cosmic events affect the Earth's irregular rotation speed. This irregular motion of the earth s rotation rate is accounted for by the introduction of leap seconds. Without such a correction, time reckoned by Earth's rotation (UT1) drifts away from UTC. Leap seconds are irregularly spaced and unpredictable. In fact it is possible that leap seconds may be either positive or negative, but so far, all leap seconds have been positive. In 1972, the present definition of time keeping was adopted that include the insertion of leap second so that the broadcast UTC seconds could be made exactly equal to the standard SI second, while still maintaining the UTC time of day and changes of UTC date synchronized with those of UT1. By then, the UTC clock was already 10 seconds behind TAI, which had been synchronized with UT1 in 1958, but had been counting true SI seconds since then. After 1972, both clocks have been ticking in SI seconds, so the difference between their readouts at any time is 10 seconds plus the total number of leap seconds that have been applied to UTC (35 seconds in July 2012). The most recent leap second was added on June 30, 2012 at 23:59:59 UTC. A leap second will again be inserted at the end of June 30, 2015 at 23:59:59 UTC. International version pg. 5

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