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Leap Second screwed up GPS?

We were talking in the office this morning about some people who launched some balloons on New Year's Eve, but had some real difficulties with the GPS coordinates. One of our guys speculated that it might have had something to do with the leap second, and sure enough, I see reports where GPS has had problems in the past when a leap second was added, even though it usually isn't added to the GPS time, only UTC.

I figured there might be enough hobbiests on here that might have been checking their GPS stuff and was curious if you all had heard anything.
Permalink Cory Foy 
January 3rd, 2006
It wouldn't be the first time it had happened:

http://www.leapsecond.com/notes/leapsec256.htm
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 3rd, 2006
Thanks Mat. That was one of the articules I came across, but couldn't find any reports of anyone having problems this time.
Permalink Cory Foy 
January 3rd, 2006
It really depends on your GPS unit. I would check with your manufacturer if an update is required. Leap seconds do throw off coordinates.
Permalink What is .NET? 
January 3rd, 2006
Funny you should mention this. The LeapSecond has been much on our minds here at NASA, as we have satellites taking data time-stamped to the millisecond. A whole extra second in there can really gum up the works.

In fact, it advanced some time-stamps into day #366. (You know, day 365 is the last day, so this is the first second over day 365, but clearly the year hasn't changed yet, so...). And some time stamps apparently went to day 1 of year 2005. Again.

It's Y2K all over again, I tell ya.
Permalink AllanL5 
January 3rd, 2006
Why don't all those critical applications use time as seconds since 1600 or something, then there is no leap second effect.

I thought astronomers use such a calender for decades.

There are leap seconds for longer then there is GPS, so any GPS software not beeing able to handle them is very badly designed.
Permalink Erik Springelkamp 
January 3rd, 2006
Eirk, Like your English.
Permalink  
January 4th, 2006
Speaking of which, GPS is old hat.

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/opinion/story/0,,1677828,00.html
Permalink  
January 5th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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