Manual re-synchronisation of AIS systems essential due to the extra 'leap second' to be added at the end of the year

According to the Time and Frequency Division at the U.S. National Institution of Standards and Technology, an extra second will be added to 2005 to make up for the slowing down of the Earth’s rotation. 

The once common 'leap second' is the first in seven years and reflects the unpredictable nature of the planet’s behaviour. For the first time since 1998, the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service in Paris will add an extra second at the end of the year to get time back in synch with the atomic clock, which is unwavering in its measurement of time on earth. The Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) kept by the atomic clock is used as the time-base for all AIS systems. 

The additional second will affect the performance of on-board AIS systems, unless a manual re-synchronisation takes place between 1 and 2 January 2006. The 'leap second' will affect all AIS systems and manufacturers such as Nauticast are proactively notifying users around the world. Unless re-synchronised the GPS-signal received by the transponder could fail to identify targets on the AIS display. 

Click here for advice from Nauticast on how to re-synchronise. 

Contact: Howard Snaith