Common Calendar Timescale

Harris, Brooks

Common Calendar Timescale

Deterministic UTC Based Local Time Reference Timescales

Brooks Harris 2016-04-05

Timekeeping technologies are good enough for everyday use but are plagued by defects that cause inaccuracies. A new and comprehensive approach is needed to achieve uniform civil timekeeping across the world. We propose a framework called Common Calendar Timescale (CCT) which preserves the age-old tradition of timekeeping by the sun and provides deterministic uniformity across the matrix of local timescales.

- CCT consists of a set of specifications which describe an array of reference Local Timescales defined by UTC offsets (time zones) with unambiguous rules for the application of UTC, Daylight Savings (DST), leap seconds, and YMDhms encoding:

- “Time Related Terms and Definitions” provides a comprehensive glossary for the set of specifications, collecting terms from many sources to clarify the use of the UTC standards.

- TAI-UTC API provides mechanisms for automatic acquisition of TAI-UTC (Leap Second) history, announcement, and expiration metadata to fill the obvious missing link between UTC time dissemination and the TAI timescale.

- YMDhms API details the calculations necessary to perform conversion between seconds and accurate UTC compliant YMDhms representation.

- CCT Binary Format (CBF) defines a binary data format for compact carriage of Local Timescale date, time and metadata.

- CCT Character Format (CCF) provides a comprehensive YMDhms character representation. It augments ISO 8601 recommendations with Leap Second and DST metadata to provide symmetrical reflection of CBF binary data.

A reference implementation in c/c++ has been developed to verify and demonstrate use of the CCT specifications.

The author hopes Common Calendar Timescale can provide a starting point for formal standardization that may find its way to international acceptance. Your comments, ideas, and help improving these specifications are welcomed. Together we may find a way to advance the state of the art of civil timekeeping.

Return to oral speaker list