Leap Second Recordings


Did you know that you can simulate leap second corrections with LabSat, including the one on 31 December 2016?

RACELOGIC offer live recordings of the leap second events on 30 June 2015 and 31 December 2016 for GPS and GLONASS.

Fill in this form and you can download the scenarios for free (several GB) or order them to be sent to you on an SD card at a price of £25 (+VAT if applicable) + shipping.

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What is a leap second?

A leap second is a second which is added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in order to synchronise atomic clocks with astronomical time to within 0.9 seconds.

The reason we have to add a second every now and then, is that Earth's rotation around its own axis, is gradually slowing down, although very slowly. Atomic clocks however, are programmed to tick away at pretty much the same speed over millions of years. Compared to the Earth's rotation – which determines the length of a day – the atomic clocks are simply too accurate. Since 1972, a total of 27 seconds have been added.

The last leap second was added to the world's clock on December 31, 2016 23:59:60 UTC.

Why test leap second updates?

It is up to your GPS devices' firmware and algorithms to manage leap seconds correctly. To uncover any negative effects of the upcoming leap second event, leap second conformance of your device/application should be tested at every leap second event.

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