Help Decide Loran’s Future

 - January 12, 2007, 4:19 AM

Federal agencies are asking for the public’s help to decide if there is a need to continue to operate or invest in the loran-C radio navigation system beyond Fiscal Year 2007 (which ends September 30). While the current loran-C system is based on technology developed in the 1960s, some of the stations have been updated to allow for an enhanced signal (eLoran). Although eLoran would improve both the accuracy and reliability of transmissions and provide a precise timing service, further funding would be required before such a system could be fully operational. The DOT and Department of Homeland Security seek public input on the various decisions currently under consideration, namely (1) the extent to which the current system is used; and (2) the extent to which eLoran would be applied as either a complementary service or as a backup to GPS. Comments are due by February 7. Meanwhile, the UK last month requested industry bids to develop eLoran to serve as a GPS backup in Europe.