Re: [LEAPSECS] Opinions Solicited

From: Rob Seaman <seaman_at_NOAO.EDU>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 15:59:20 -0700

Demetrios Matsakis says:

> There is talk about holding a forum on the issue of the redefinition
> of UTC, one reason being that very little new input has been received
> since I did my survey.

This seems a bit self-fulfilling. If "there is talk" why hasn't that
talk been on this mailing list? Is there significant discussion occurring
somewhere else?

For instance, what discussion occurred during the SRG at the PTTI meeting?

> The idea is to find new ramifications of any change, not to repeat
> what is already known.

I'm not sure how you'll successfully achieve this. The previous - rather
cursory - survey is long in the past at this point. Any new data gathering
is in effect a brand new experiment. I would think the proper experimental
design would be to simply use the previous survey to construct a more
complete target list for a more exhaustive survey.

This is worth the effort if for no other reason to try to catch up with
the technical changes over the couple of years since the survey.

> Possibilities for venues include side-meetings associated with the
> Frequency Control Symposium, a telcon meeting, the Institute of Navigation,
> or perhaps another navigational or maritime group. If any of you have
> any ideas, please let me know.

Sure - the American Astronomical Society meeting just now wrapping up
in Washington, DC would have been a swell venue. There will be another
AAS meeting in six months. An Internation Astrophysical Union workshop
would be excellent. There is an SPIE meeting in Kona in August.

Of course, without knowing the agenda behind such a forum it's hard to
comment on how it should be organized. If this process actually gets to
the point of suggesting substantive changes to the current UTC standard
a high visibility international cross-disciplinary meeting would be
appropriate with participation from civil time users outside the narrow
realms of highly technical pursuits.

We would need lawyers, historians and politicians - not just engineers.

Rob Seaman
National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Received on Sun Jan 13 2002 - 04:23:30 PST

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