News Item

US rethink on eLoran

A US Congress committee is halting the tearing down of USCG's old Loran-C towers.

This week has seen the US Congress House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee consider the 2014 'US Coast Guard Authorization Act'. And it has adopted an amendment - which has been sent on for consideration by the full House - that covers GPS vulnerability and eLoran.

In a nutshell, it says that the Coast Guard may not carry out activities related to the dismantling or disposal of infrastructure that supported the former Loran-C system for at least a year, or until it is determined that such infrastructure is 'not required to provide a positioning, navigation and timing system to provide redundant capability in the event GPS signals are disrupted'.

Loran-C was turned off in 2010 and it was assumed that it would have been replaced by eLoran to provide navigation and timing data needed by a wide variety of critical infrastructure.

But eLoran was not built - its funding was cancelled by the current US Administration later in 2010, seemingly to save money. But support to change that decision has been building, and the Resilient Navigation & Timing (RNT) Foundation was launched in 2013 with the goal of convincing the Government to rededicate the old Loran-C sites to eLoran and install the system.

Yet, currently the old Loran-C sites are being dismantled by the Coast Guard - an action that seems irresponsible to many, and one that could sharply raise the cost of establishing eLoran. This amendment is aimed at stopping the USCG pulling down any further Loran towers and abandoning the old sites.

Europe, and UK in particular through the GLAs, is establishing a substantial eLoran capability - and this is spreading to many other global regions as a back-up to very vulnerable GNSS.

For further details, see the links below . .

  • 15 February 2014
  • RIN

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