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UK rolls out eLoran as backup to GPS

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 6 Nov 2014

LORAN (Long Range Navigation) was a technology designed during World War II as a navigation aid for shipping. LORAN, which used a network of land based transmitters and ship based receivers, continued to be used in various updated forms until GPS replaced it.

With the increased reliance on GPS for navigation, concern has grown in recent years and now the Department of Transport is taking action by rolling out an enhanced variant of LORAN called eLoran.

Following trials last year, the first seven eLoran stations are now in operation along the East coast. The rollout will continue with all major UK ports being equipped with eLoran stations within five years.

The system uses a very strong signal that is resistant to jamming and it's hoped it will serve as a back-up should anything happen to the GPS signal when a ship is navigating a busy port area.

Whilst many countries are decommissioning their LORAn stations, a number of countries have shown interest in the technology. We've previously reported on the GPS jamming shenanigans of North Korea so, unsurprisingly, South Korea is one of those showing a keen interest.

Source: TrinityHouse.co.uk

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Posted by Momist on Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:17 pm Reply with quote

As a Merchant Navy radio/electronics officer in the late 1960s/early 70s, I knew of the Loran system, but never saw it used in anger. We carried Decca Navigator charts, and it fell to me to keep them in order and up to date. Maintenance of the Decca Navigator equipment was also my responsibility, but thankfully I never had to find any faults on that as it never seemed to go wrong Laughing

I will watch this development with interest, at least this eLoran system does not need spacecraft technology to establish and maintain, and may be more suited to an impoverished world when our resources dwindle.

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