The GLA are investigating the potential transition of UK/European eLoran services to a fully commercial operation.
The General Lighthouse Authorities are seeking a viable solution which could provide eLoran as a sustainable and cost-effective backup system for GPS – enabling the combination of GPS and eLoran to provide resilient Positioning, Navigation and Time (PNT) for mariners and others.
To this end, the GLA are engaged with the ‘Earth Star’ consortium of US and UK industries, coordinated through the auspices of the Resilient Navigation and Time (RNT) Foundation.
The consortium has proposed a method of maintaining the synchronisation of UK eLoran transmissions from Anthorn to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) – synchronisation that would otherwise be lost in the absence of timing control from France after the end of 2015.
Formal government decisions remain in place in France and Norway to terminate Loran transmissions from the 2 French stations and the 4 Norwegian stations at the end of 2015. France also plans to dismantle its infrastructure in 2016.
‘Earth Star’ may be willing – as a first step towards commercialisation – to implement this solution to lock Anthorn transmissions to UTC, at no cost to the GLA, as a basis of a future commercial resilient timing service for the UK and Ireland.
Although UK could ‘go it alone’ in providing a UTC timing service, eLoran navigation could not be maintained without the overseas transmitters.
Hence the GLA will continue to engage with ‘Earth Star’ to seek ways in which other Loran transmitters in Europe can be maintained on air and synchronised – in order also to maintain a resilient Position and Navigation capability for the UK and Ireland – with the potential for future operation as a commercial service.