The First Months of Fully Automated Generation of the Italian Time Scale UTC(IT)

V. Formichella, G. Signorile, T. T. Thai, A. Perucca, F. Fiasca, E. Cantoni, M. Sellone, A. Mura, I. Sesia and F. Levi

Abstract: Starting from the month of January 2020, the official Italian time scale, UTC(IT), and its hot backup are generated by the new time-scale algorithm described in [1], with the robust and fully automated procedure developed at the Italian National Metrological Institute, INRiM, presented in [2]. Specifically, the hydrogen masers generating the master and backup time scales are independently steered with respect to UTCr, then the backup time scale is aligned in phase to the master one. The monitoring function generates daily reports on the status and performances of algorithms and time scales, as well as warnings and alarms if an anomaly is detected, allowing for a prompt human intervention, if it is required. We report on the performances of UTC(IT) during the first months of operation of the new time-scale algorithm, also discussing the robustness of the automated procedure, the effectiveness of the monitoring function, and the interventions required during such period. Moreover, we report on a seamless switch from the master to the backup time scale, on the replacement of the hydrogen maser generating the backup time scale, and on the dependence of the time scale performances on the master clock behavior, showing how the stability of the time scale is improved after switching from a more noisy to a less noisy maser. The fully automated procedure for the generation of UTC(IT) proved its efficiency and currently guarantees state-of-the-art performances to the Italian time scale, at the same time reducing the effort required to the staff of INRiM’s time laboratory for its maintenance. References [1] L. Galleani, G. Signorile, V. Formichella and I. Sesia, “Generating a real-time time scale making full use of the available frequency standards,” Metrologia 2020, in press. [2] V. Formichella, G. Signorile, T. T. Thai, A. Perucca, E. Cantoni, M. Sellone, A Mura, I. Sesia and F. Levi, “Reliable and Robust Real-Time Time Scale Generation: Developments and Experimental Results at INRiM,” in proc. PTTI 2020.
Published in: Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting
January 25 - 28, 2021
Pages: 581 - 600
Cite this article: Formichella, V., Signorile, G., Thai, T. T., Perucca, A., Fiasca, F., Cantoni, E., Sellone, M., Mura, A., Sesia, I., Levi, F., "The First Months of Fully Automated Generation of the Italian Time Scale UTC(IT)," Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, , January 2021, pp. 581-600.
https://doi.org/10.33012/2021.17801
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