I came across a very official-sounding notice yesterday that the United States government is looking for public comment about the possible revamping and reuse of the WWII Loran system as a backup for GPS and I wanted to share it with you. You might recall that last year the UK began this process as a failsafe should the worst occur to the satellite navigation technology everything seems to rely upon.
Of course, before you get your hopes up, this doesn’t mean that the government has quite given up on the idea of simply dismantling the Loran system, but rather that it has occurred to someone that only having one navigational aid is probably not the best idea. The eLoran (enhanced Long Range Navigation) system will be used as a complimentary and backup PNT system.
You can read the full docket here, but it looks like the government is looking on public comment on the following topics:
- How you use PNT services
- What sort of backup you would need/want for these services should GPS be out for more than a day
- Availability and coverage area required for a GPS backup
- Willingness to use an eLoran receiver
- Other ideas on GPS alternatives
If you’re interested in weighing in on this rather important topic, you can submit a comment until May 22, 2015 in one of three ways:
- Submit your comment online either via the comment box or an attached word document
- Fax your comments to: 202-493-2251
- Send your comments via snail mail to the following address:
Docket Management Facility (M-30),
U.S. Department of Transportation,
West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
If you fax or mail your comments, be sure to label the comments with the docket number: DOT-OST-2015-0053 so it ends up in the right department, because we all know it’ll probably get lost otherwise.
Personally, I am not very familiar with the Loran system, but I can’t help but think that having any kind of backup is probably a good idea so I encourage everyone to comment if you have any kind of opinion!