PRESS RELEASE: US Congress and Administration Want PNT Resilience – eLoran Highlighted

December 10, 2014

Alexandria, VA (December 10, 2014) – Today the US Congress passed legislation that will preserve the nation’s Loran infrastructure and provide the authority to convert it to an eLoran system under a cooperative agreement. This action comes just weeks after it was revealed that the US Administration is seriously studying non-space systems, including eLoran, to complement the GPS satellite network.

Today the Senate passed S.2444 the Howard Coble US Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2014[1] and sent it to the President. S.2444 contains language that:

  • Requires preservation of the existing, unused US Loran infrastructure for at least a year,
  • Mandates after the first year, that the Loran infrastructure may only be disposed of if the Secretary of Homeland Security certifies it is not needed for a system to complement GPS, and
  • Authorizes the Secretary to engage in a cooperative agreement to build an eLoran or other system for use in the event GPS becomes

Congress’ action comes after an FAA presentation at a Stanford University PNT Symposium revealed that:

  • On October 10, 2014 the (US Administration’s) Space-Based Positioning, Navigation & Timing National Executive Steering Group initiated the CPNT Tiger Team
  • The Tiger Team will:
    • Re-explore eLoran as a back-up GPS technology
    • Evaluate other technologies as a back-up to GPS
    • Investigate the ability to provide P, N & T separately
  • The Tiger Team will out brief their findings to the PNT Executive Committee on December 15, 2014

According to RNT Foundation President, Dana Goward, “These are very positive and welcome initiatives. The need for a difficult-to-disrupt system to complement GPS has been well known for years, and was actually required by Presidential Directive in 2004. We commend those in the Congress and Administration who are taking this problem seriously and working hard to protect the nation.”


US CONGRESS AND ADMINISTRATION WANT PNT RESILIENCE – ELORAN HIGHLIGHTED

HOWARD COBLE COAST GUARD AND MARITIME
TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 2014
S2444

SEC. 229. E-LORAN.

  1. IN GENERAL. —The Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating may not carry out activities related to the dismantling or disposal of infrastructure that supported the former LORAN system until the later of
    1. the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act; or
    2. the date on which the Secretary provides to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate notice of a determination by the Secretary 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.
  2. EXCEPTION. —Subsection (a) does not apply to activities necessary for the safety of human life.
  3. AGREEMENTS. —The Secretary may enter into cooperative agreements, contracts, and other agreements with Federal entities and other public or private entities, including academic entities, to develop a positioning, timing, and navigation system, including an enhanced LORAN system, to provide redundant capability in the event GPS signals are disrupted.

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[1] https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2444/text