Time Service

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Time Service


a system of specialized laboratories, scientific research institutes, observatories, and other establishments (or a single such institution) that determines and maintains time and transmits time information to interested parties. In the USSR, this is the function of the State Time and Frequency Service, which provides services necessary for measuring time and frequencies in the country’s standard units and systems for atomic and Greenwich time. The time-service activities of the various ministries and departments of the State Time and Frequency Service are directed by the Interdepartmental Commission of the Unified Time Service of the Gosstandart (State Standard Administration) of the USSR.

Atomic time is maintained by atomic clocks that are regularly compared with the State Standard of Time and Frequency using radio, television, and clocks that can be transported from place to place. With this system, the discrepancy between the time service and the State Standard is held to 1 microsecond or fractions of a microsecond. Greenwich time is determined by means of astronomical observations (see ).

Information concerning accurate time and reference frequencies is transmitted by means of time signals and reference frequencies and by way of bulletins. The bulletins contain information on the deviation of the time of signal transmissions from the time of the State Standard, the deviation of reference frequencies from the nominal values, and the difference between Greenwich time and atomic time. The data published in the bulletins are computed by the Chief Metrological Center of the State Time and Frequency Service of the USSR from the results of monitoring time signals and astronomical observations of all the time services in the USSR and the time services of a number of socialist countries. The work of time services is coordinated internationally by the International Time Bureau in Paris, which collates observations and publishes information on the time-service data of all the member countries.


Bakulin, P. I., and N. S. Blinov. Sluzhba tochnogo vremeni. Moscow, 1968.
Pavlov, N. N. “Sluzhba vremeni.” In Astronomiia v SSSR za sorok let, 1917–1957. Moscow, 1960.
Belotserkovskii, D. Iu., and G. N. Palii. “Gosudarstvennaia sluzhba vremeni i chastoty SSSR.” Izmerittel’naia tekhnika, 1972, no. 12.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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