This is part 3 of a 3 part series about Leap Second 2016, scheduled to take place 31 December 2016.
In a Leap Second 2016 series, we have covered what a leap second is and how exactly you can prepare your Leica Geosystems instruments for this event. Today, we sit down with Markus Roland, Leica Geosystems product manager GNSS Networks and Reference Stations, to discuss Leap Second 2016.
Q1. What is a Leap Second and why is it so important?
A1. A Leap Second is when, periodically, an additional second is added to the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This globally aligns current time with Earth’s rotation around its own axis. The next Leap Second takes place 31 December 2016 at 23:59 GMT.
Q2. How does Leap Second affect Leica Geosystems instruments?
A2. Any instrument depending on GNSS, or more precisely combining GLONASS with any other system like GPS or BeiDou, will be affected. The reason for this is, that the different GNSS use different time scales. Combining them requires to know about the introduction of leap second to the UTC time scale. Now, if Leica Geosystems users have installed all the latest updates to their instruments, they should not see any discontinuation of service throughout this leap second.
Q3. What has Leica Geosystems done to prepare for Leap Second?
A3. We provide the highest quality standards in all of our instruments, and the latest releases have been tested to work properly throughout the leap second (e.g., using GNSS signal simulators). We have also provided detailed information to our local representatives for legacy instruments.
Q4. How does a Leica Geosystems user receive support throughout the Leap Second event?
A4. Should you encounter any issues, please contact your local Leica Geosystems representative for further support. You can also review our step-by-step instructions for individual instruments on our blog and website.
Q5. Any other thoughts?
A5. At Leica Geosystems, we have carefully prepared for this event, and we are confident all our GNSS solutions will work throughout the event.