The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) in Paris has announced the introduction of a leap second to occur on 31 December 2016.
GNSS positioning like good comedy is all about timing. In order to calculate your position on the earth each satellite needs to tell your receiver where it is at any particular time, and so it has some very accurate atomic clocks on-board which are synchronised with the earth’s rotation.
Sadly, the earth’s rotation is not quite as regular as those atomic clocks, and every so often (about once a year) the satellite clocks have to be adjusted. Now GPS, Galileo, Beidou and the Japanese QZSS constellation use a continuous time scale and won’t be affected. GLONASS signals however are based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the any GNSS application software will need to know how many leap second are being used in order to combine the GPS and GLONASS signals. They also need to match, so when the Russians introduced the leap second into their system 24hrs early last year it caused chaos as receivers went into meltdown.
Leica Geosystems have tested all their current equipment (and the 1200 series) to ensure that it will cope with the change but you should make sure you are running the latest firmware on your device. The latest firmware can be downloaded from our website and if you need to update your CCP contact your nearest Opti-cal branch who’ll be happy to help.