Colloquium on the UTC Time Scale - Torino, Italy, May 28-30, 2003


A Colloquium on the UTC Timescale will be held at Istituto Elettrotecnico Nazionale G. Ferraris (IEN) in Torino, Italy from 28-30 May 2003. The purpose of the colloquium is to discuss the future of the UTC time scale.

As a result of issues raised by sector members of the ITU-R and a letter from the Director of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) to the Secretary General of the ITU, a new question, ITU-R 236/7 (2000) "The Future of the UTC Timescale", was generated by ITU-R Study Group 7 (Science Services) Working Party 7A (Standard Frequency and Time Signal Services). The question considers the future definition and use of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in the ITU-R Recommendations.

Any major change to the UTC time scale as defined in the current recommendations has a potentially significant impact on synchronization of communications networks and navigation systems and time distribution performance. Accordingly, Study Group 7 Working Party 7A has established a Special Rapporteur Group (SRG) to specifically address the future of the leap second and related issues.

The SRG has held several coordination and technical exchange meetings to generate, analyze and discuss alternative approaches to reduce or eliminate the operational impact of the leap second. The work to date has produced a consensual opinion that the SRG wants to present and discuss with interested and representative parties. In support of that purpose the SRG has organized a concluding Colloquium for deliberating and drafting a recommendation to the ITU-R.

Invited presentations will be made by distinguished representatives in the areas of International Timekeeping, Navigation, Earth Rotation, Telecommunications and Internet Timing. These areas could be impacted by changes in the UTC Time Scale. In addition, contributed presentations will be sought to insure that additional viewpoints would be expressed.

Additional information can be obtained from Ron Beard Chairperson of the SRG and Bill Klepczynski Bill Klepczynski , Secretary of the SRG.