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US Weighs UAS-Friendly GPS Backup System

May 21, 2015

Inside Unmanned Systems
By Dee Ann Divis

The comment period is about to close on a potential navigation backup system for GPS that could be very useful for unmanned systems.

Enhanced Loran or eLoran is an invigorated version of the old Loran system formerly operated by the Coast Guard. The new system, which has been described as high definition television compared to the black-and-white technology of Loran, would cover the continental United States with a low-frequency signal for navigation and timing that is completely independent of GPS. The system is already in operation in Europe and parts of Asia.

ELoran could be very beneficial to unmanned aerospace systems (UAS) given the shortcomings of GPS, said Girish Chowdhary, an engineering professor at the Oklahoma State University. Chowdhary is working on navigation systems for unmanned aircraft.

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