DA.7.06 — UTC(SU) and EOP(SU) – the only legal reference frames of Russian Federation

Date & Time

Aug 10th at 3:00 PM until 3:10 PM




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Author(s): Nikolay B. Koshelyaevsky1, Igor Yu Blinov1, Sergey L Pasynok1

Institution(s): 1. VNIIFTRI

There are two legal time reference frames in Russian Federation. UTC(SU) deals with atomic time and play a role of reference for legal timing through the whole country. The other one, EOP(SU), deals with Earth's orientation parameters and provides the official EOP data for scientific, technical and metrological applications in Russia.
The atomic time is based on two essential hardware components: primary Cs fountain standards and ensemble of continuously operating H-masers as a time unit/time scale keeper. Basing on H-maser intercomparison system data, regular H-maser frequency calibration against Cs standards and time algorithm autonomous TA(SU) time scale is maintained by the Main Metrological Center. Since 2013 time unit in TA(SU) is the second (SU) reproduced independently by VNIIFTRI Cs primary standards in accordance to it’s definition in the SI. UTC(SU) is relied on TA(SU) and steering to UTC basing on TWSTFT/GNSS time link data. As a result TA(SU) stability level relative to TT considerably exceeds 1×10-15 for sample time one month and more, RMS[UTC-UTC(SU)] ≤ 3 ns for the period of 2013-2015. UTC(SU) is broadcasted by different national means such as specialized radio and TV stations, NTP servers and GLONASS. Signals of Russian radio stations contains DUT1 and dUT1 values at 0.1s and 0.02s resolution respectively.
The definitive EOP(SU) are calculated by the Main Metrological Center basing on composition of the eight independent individual EOP data streams delivered by four Russian analysis centers: VNIIFTRI, Institute of Applied Astronomy, Information-Analytical Center of Russian Space Agency and Analysis Center of Russian Space Agency. The accuracy of ultra-rapid EOP values for 2014 is estimated ≤ 0.0006" for polar motion, ≤ 70 microseconds for UT1-UTC and ≤ 0.0003" for celestial pole offsets respectively.
The other VNIIFTRI EOP activities can be grouped in three basic directions:
- arrangement and carrying out GNSS and SLR observations at five institutes;
- processing GNSS, SLR and VLBI observation data for EOP evaluation;
- combination of GLONASS satellites orbit/clocks.
The paper will deliver more detailed and particular information on Russian legal reference frames.