Re: Draft Questionnaire

From: Steve Allen <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 23:32:35 -0800

This is a draft reply to some of the points on the questionnaire.

On Tue 2003-01-14T18:16:08 -0500, hath writ:

> c. Hours of extra labor that would be required and for what general purpose,
> such as a software review.
> d. Extra equipment that must be purchased, and approximate cost to
> purchase
> e. Extra equipment that must be developed, and approximate cost.
> f. Installation cost of extra equipment
> g. Risks involved in modifying the system.

All of these aspects of cost in question 5 are extremely difficult to
answer because it has not been made clear how (UT1 - UTC) would be
distributed if leap seconds were discontinued.

Will it be over the internet via software and protocols?
Will we have to buy GPS timeservers and get the info from them?
Will it be via a (significantly modified from current and thus
requiring new hardware) version of radio transmission clicks?
Will we have to task somebody go to the IERS website on a bi-weekly
basis, scrape the current estimated value off some web page, and type
it in?

Within minutes of receiving the draft questions a colleague at another
observatory produced an extremely off-the-cuff estimate of US$110000
(plus the ill-will of a lot of astronomers) to get the systems of his
telescopes ready for a lack of leap seconds. Some of this cost scales
per telescope, some of it scales roughly with the {aperture, system
complexity, cost of daily operations} of the telescope.

> 7. Is there an implementation date that would significantly decrease the
> costs indicated in your response to question 5? If so, please provide the
> data and associated costs.

In the state-funded environment of this observatory is not feasible to
marshal the funding and manpower needed to make the changes for at
least two years after publication of the method(s) by which (UT1 - UTC)
will be available.

Steve Allen          UCO/Lick Observatory       Santa Cruz, CA 95064      Voice: +1 831 459 3046
PGP: 1024/E46978C5   F6 78 D1 10 62 94 8F 2E    49 89 0E FE 26 B4 14 93
Received on Fri Jan 17 2003 - 23:32:57 PST

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