Upper Limit of Weights in TAI Computation

Claudine Thomas, Jacques Azoubib

Abstract: The international reference time scale TAI computed by the BIPM relies on a weighted average of data from a large number of atomic clocks. In it, the weight attributed to a given clock depends on its long-term stability. In this paper the TAI algorithm is used as the basis for a discussion of how to implement an upper limit of weight for clocks contributing to the ensemble time. This problem is approached through the comparison of two different techniques: - In one case, a maximum relative weight is fixed: no individual clock can contribute more than a given fraction to the resulting time scale. The weight of each clock is then adjusted according to the qualifies of the whole set of contributing elements. - In the other case, a parameter characteristic of frequency stability is chosen: no individual clock can appear more stable than the stated limit. This is equivalent to choosing an absolute limit of weight and attributing this to the most stable clocks independently of the other elements of the ensemble. The first technique is more robust than the second and automatically optimizes the stability of the resulting time scale, but his to a more complicated computation. The second technique has been used in the TAI algorithm since the very beginning. Careful analysis of tests on real clock data shows that improvement of the stability of the time scale requires revision from time to time of the fixed value chosen for the upper limit of absolute weight. In particular, we present results which confirm the decision of the CCDS Working Group on TAI to increase the absolute upper limit by a factor 2.5. We also show that the use of an upper relative contribution further helps to improve the stability and may be a useful step towards better use of the massive ensemble of HP 5071A clocks now contributing to TAI.
Published in: Proceedings of the 27th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting
November 29 - 1, 1995
The Doubletree Hotel at Horton Plaza
San Diego, California
Pages: 193 - 208
Cite this article: Thomas, Claudine, Azoubib, Jacques, "Upper Limit of Weights in TAI Computation," Proceedings of the 27th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, San Diego, California, November 1995, pp. 193-208.
Full Paper: ION Members/Non-Members: 1 Download Credit
Sign In