3541b7aCredit: US Coast Guard

The US Army released a “Request for Information” yesterday seeking industry’s input on the cost to acquire up to 50,000 eLoran receivers. The Department of Defense is interested in taking advantage of “signals of opportunity.” Among the issues the Army is seeking input on for current eLoran receivers are:

  • Size, Weight, & Power – Cost (SWaP-C) considerations for a stand-alone receiver
  • SWaP-C considerations for an integrated GPS & eLoran receiver
  • Considerations for a Maritime version
  • Considerations for an Aviation version
  • Considerations for a Vehicular version
  • Considerations for a Timing version
  • Potential benefits of one way messaging capabilities using the eLORAN Data Channel
  • Antenna considerations, e.g., e-field & h-field antennas
  • Orientation benefits/capabilities from single signal reception with zero velocity of receiver
  • Signal tracking in environments where GPS would be unavailable such as indoors, underwater, & urban environments.
  • How quickly a demonstration of receiver functionality could be made available
  • Provide Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) on per unit receiver costs assuming order quantity of 50,000 units

Input is also sought on what these issues might look like after a five year development process.

The US government’s Interest in eLoran has dramatically increased recently as shown by the President’s signing into law legislation requiring preservation of the old Loran-C infrastructure for possible re-use in eLoran, and the inter-departmental “PNT Excom” receiving a report on eLoran as a backup to GPS at its December 2014 meeting.

All of this comes, perhaps not coincidentally, with a resurgence of Russian military belligerence that has included jamming GPS signals in the Ukraine to frustrate international monitors’ surveillance drones.