eLoran for EuroShip fleet
Ship management company EuroShip Services Ltd has installed eLoran as a back-up to GPS in its vessels operating off the UK.
The installation is on a trial basis with a view to implementing it across its entire fleet.
The company explains that loss of GPS can affect not only a vessel’s navigation systems but also the AIS, radar and communications systems - all of which rely on GPS data. This could severely hamper the ability of the mariner to sail safely and efficiently.
To counter this risk, the GLAs last year announced the rollout of differential eLoran stations to bolster navigational safety at 7 of the UK’s busiest ports - Dover, Harwich, Thames, Humber, Middlesbrough, Firth of Forth and Aberdeen. UK is the first in the world to deploy this technology for shipping.
EuroShip's MD comments:
'Mariners assume that GPS will always work, and as such have become almost entirely reliant on GPS for position, navigation and timing (PNT) data, to the extent that there are next to no options for navigating without it.'
'We are looking at eLoran as a preventative measure, to avoid our vessels being vulnerable to GPS outage. To have a backup such as eLoran would be a huge advantage, as it wouldn’t disrupt the signal to the equipment at all - so we could just carry on safely.'
'If the trials prove successful, and eLoran runs as we expect it to, we will consider rolling receivers out to our entire fleet of 16 managed vessels as a safeguard. We have our clients’ full support with these trials.'
The GLA's Research and Radionavigation Manager, Martin Bransby FRIN, adds:
'Shipping lanes are becoming busier and more perilous than ever, whilst mariners are becoming increasingly reliant on one fallible source of PNT data. This presents a significant risk to the safety and efficiency of vessels, particularly in congested areas like ports.'
'eLoran reduces the vulnerability of vessels by ensuring the uninterrupted provision of PNT data - even when GPS is down. As a terrestrial system, eLoran signals are much stronger when received than GPS - making it exceptionally difficult to interrupt.'
EuroShip is a ship management firm based in the Port of London and working on routes in Northern Europe. It provides full technical and crew management for large RORO vessels. It currently operates a fleet of 16 vessels.
eLoran receivers are now commercially available, and the service is free to use. Full operational capability (FOC) - covering all major UK ports - is expected by 2019.
Details from Read MT below . .