7 January 2016
Taviga welcomes the continued transmission of eLoran timing and data signals from the UK Lydbrook, Gloucestershire, UK
Low frequency eLoran transmissions from Anthorn in Cumbria (UK) will continue despite the switch off of the legacy Loran-C transmissions by the French, Norwegians, Danes, and Germans. Signals from the Russian Loran-C equivalent – Chayka – are still available.
Loran watchers saw the signals from all European Loran-C stations except Anthorn cease at 11:00amon Dec 31st, 2015. This meant that – for the time being – a positioning and navigation service is no longer viable in and around the UK. However, it was confirmed to Taviga just before Christmas that Anthorn would continue broadcasting and would not follow suit and be switched off like the others on the 31st December. In fact, Taviga understands that Anthorn transmissions will continue for at least two years providing messaging and precise UTC synchronised time. This action enables the development of a commercial offering that would provide a complementary timing service in the event of jamming or interference to global navigation satellite systems such as GPS and Galileo.
This decision by the UK Government follows closely on the heels of the decision in September 2015 by the US National Executive Committee for Space Based PNT (“EXCOM”) that eLoran “could be a viable nationwide complementary for GPS applications in U.S. critical infrastructure”. The EXCOM is an executive steering group, co-chaired by the Departments of Defense and Transportation, which includes membership from the Departments of State, the Interior, agriculture, Commerce, and Homeland Security, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and NASA, and reports directly to the White House. The decision was reiterated in a letter to Congress on December 8th, 2015 wherein the EXCOM agreed “to leverage public and private sector capabilities and resources to support a timing-focused eLoran network, while also documenting the requirements for a more comprehensive complementary PNT capability for the nation’s critical infrastructure”. The continuity of the UK timing service from Anthorn complements US-based Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) eLoran timing trials using signals from the former Loran Support Unit located in Wildwood, NJ.