Tuesday, December 27, 2005

GPS and Leap Seconds

If you ever tried to understand how GPS works, you know that precise measurement of time to obtain distances is a big part of it. This year you will need to adjust your atomic clock by dropping a second to keep up with Earth's slow down. But you won't need to bother about adjusting your GPS receiver.

That because GPS doesn't use UTC (Universal Time Clock) for its measurements. According to this site: "GPS time, is the atomic time scale implemented by the atomic clocks in the GPS ground control stations and the GPS satellites themselves. GPS time was zero at 0h 6-Jan-1980 and since it is not perturbed by leap seconds GPS is now ahead of UTC by 13 seconds."

No comments: