Preparing for Leap Second 2016

Keeping your GNSS connected

Leap Second 2016

Just like a Leap Year is added to modern calendars to synchronise with the solar year, a Leap Second is added to the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to synchronise current clocks worldwide with Earth’s rotation.

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) in Paris has announced the introduction of the leap second to occur on 31 December 2016. UTC will be adjusted by 1.0 second so that the sequence of dates of the UTC markers at and around time of its introduction will be:

  • 2016-12-31 23:59:59
  • 2016-12-31 23:59:60
  • 2017-01-01 00:00:00

How does Leap Second affect you?

Though the UTC and all time scales based on UTC will be affected by this adjustment, the continuous GPS time scale will not be adjusted. For GPS, the leap second correction contained within the navigation message transmitted by the satellites will change.

In contrast to GPS, the GLONASS time scale is based on UTC+3 hours. To use both satellite systems together, it is important to any GNSS application to apply the current number of leap seconds correctly.

The time scales of Galileo, BeiDou and QZSS are similar to GPS time scale – continuous time scales. They are not based on UTC.

Consequently, the information on current number of leap seconds has to be known to use any of these systems together with GLONASS, while it is not necessary to know the current number of leap seconds to use any GPS, Galileo, BeiDou or QZSS with each other.

If you’re a Leica Geosystems customer of any GNSS/GPS solution, you may notice a slight adjustment.

At Leica Geosystems, we have been taking significant measures to ensure any GPS/GNSS instrument and software solutions will work throughout the leap second. Please contact your local Leica Geosystems representative should you experience any issues.

How does Leap Second affect your Leica Geosystems instrument?

The most critical part of staying connected throughout Leap Year 2016 is to ensure you have updated your instrument with all the latest updates. You should be receiving automatic notifications when these updates are available. To check that you have the latest update, please contact your local Leica Geosystems representative.

To learn more about your specific Leica Geosystems instrument, click on the link below :

  1. Leica Spider Software Suite
  2. Leica GR/GM Series with RefWorx firmware - GX1200 Series and GPS900 Series
  3. Leica Viva GS Series – SmartWorx Viva and Captivate
  4. Leica Infinity and Geo Office
  5. Leica Zeno
  6. Leica iCON
  7. Leica Redline

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