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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Coast Guard seeks opinion on scrapping LORAN system
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Thread: Coast Guard seeks opinion on scrapping LORAN system Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-02-2007 05:53 AM
Idiens
LORAN is back!

It looks like the LORAN lobby has won, justified by about 850 to 50 votes. Be prepared for its revival in the form of eLORAN. Don't kid yourselves that old LORAN receivers can be used with eLORAN, or that you won't have to buy new receivers to work with GPS and eLORAN together.
The LORAN lobby's next move (work in progress) is to make eLORAN mandatory Why? Well,
1) AIS is essential for homeland security and it isn't secure if it isn't protected by eLORAN - the world's only jam proof means of navigation, and
2) All us duffers can't navigate without GPS, so we need eLORAN to protect us.
3) To ensure the LORAN lobby get a market for their receivers.
02-14-2007 04:20 PM
seabreeze_97 Ahhh, the dawn of aviation....like that's a bad thing. You know, they still use wings on those planes. Kinda old fashioned. You know, like sails on a ......ahem. Moving right along.
There's a lot of griping about Loran being a regional thing. Gripes my butt every time I'm off the coast of Africa....well, it will if I'm ever there. Last time I checked, much as I wish it did, my boat doesn't fly. And while the aviation industry moves technology via clout, I don't care what their airliners are using. Since it appears they're not interested in Loran anymore, why talk about them?
As for jamming, the key difference is, when one is about to be bombed, one tends to want to jam the bomb's guidance system. Jamming GPS near the target (more likely than space-based issues) would affect the target area, and then the counter-offensive would begin to "un-jam" things. The key point is, attempts to jam GPS would be OVER THERE at the battle site, not here as we (some of us, at least) cruise along using what is essentially now a military afterthought. If we're getting hit at home, having a viable electronic navigation system is pretty much a moot point.
Wanna complain about taxes? $1.3 billion for WAAS/LAAS correction of GPS or $28 million for differential correction of GPS with Loran (remember, Loran has data channel capability, GPS doesn't)....the Europeans have been at it for several years now. Having both also means if one part goes down for any reason, you still have navigation capability with the other part. $28 million for an active system, less for an at-sleep, quick startup system is a bargain. That being said, again, I expect Loran to get tossed in favor of the latest tech. Most of the time, I'm all for progressive attitudes on things, but something about the Loran deal has me dragging anchor. And finally, I bet if we compared the transcripts of our gov't on this subject, we've done a helluva lot better job at fleshing out the subject at hand (regardless of the overall concensus) than the politicians who are supposed to be handling this sort of thing. Sorry. I'm in a mood today.
02-14-2007 03:31 AM
wwwsmile
Loran

I just got back from my basic navigation class taught by the coast guard and from what I learned tonight the government fears that if our satelittes are taken out then the Loran system could still be used. Probably a good backup system. Seems the technology to take out the satellites exists so maybe we should keep it? Kathy
02-12-2007 05:14 AM
Idiens
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
The technolgies you are talking about stem almost from the dawn of air navigation.
Yes and they will be around a long time too, not that LORAN is the new kid on the block.
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
They are are horrendusly expensive to maintain and are rapidly becoming obsolete. NDB's are being phased out as fast as the FAA can make it happen.
Actually, it cost more to remove them than to renew them. The FAA is not phasing them out so very fast, they plan to move them around a bit to improve coverage and reduce them to a minimum. Getting rid of them is not proving so easy, as was thought for many years, as so many procedures are dependent on them as safety nets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
No commecial aircraft, and fewer and fewer GA aircraft are equipped with an ADF reciever for NDB navigation and DME is also rapidly becoming cost ineffective to maintain in a GA airplane.
Some airlines are specifying new aircraft without ADF but many keep it in case the aircraft is to do service in countries that still require the ICAO minimum aircraft fit. It is also popular with pilots as it can receive sports results, for example. Only upper end GA use DME at all, it really needs an FMS and preferably also inertial sensors. It is still formally the primary en-route navigation means in many countries. With the introduction of PBN, it is likely to be the safety net for GPS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
VOR navigation will soon follow the path of the four course range and NDB before it.
Not for many years yet, as many procedures rely on VOR as the safety back-up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
GPS/WAAS/LAAS won't be piled on top of anything in the future. The ground based stuff, including ILS will go away over time.
A long time. The Fed Nav Plan intends to keep ILS at all airports.
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
Loran may not be the answer for a back up to GPS, but until we have an answer, I'd argue we should keep the system active.
Currently, studies are being made to add additional constellations to GPS. This might remove the need for ground based navigation aids, but my guess is that air transport will retain DME as a back-up for PBN.
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
I'm not sure were you got the idea WAAS was not being used for aviation.
From Rockwell-Collins, Honeywell, Boeing and Airbus. The first two have no orders for WAAS equipped MMRs and latter two say they have no intention of integrating them on their aircraft – because no airlines are requesting WAAS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
The Big Iron is using it, and Garmin has had one WAAS certified unit on the market for about 3 years and recently got upgrade approval for their top selling GNS400/500 series units.
Name one airline who is WAAS equipped. GARMIN is the only supplier so far and they don’t sell to air transport. Yes, there will be some mini jets equipped.
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
As far as ADS-B, Yes, a mandate is comming. Even AOPA supports it. As to UAT vs. 1090ES, that decsion hasn't been made yet, but its shaping up to be both. UAT as proven itself in Alaska under the Capstone project in GA aircraft, but all new airliners are being delivered with 1090ES capabilty. The FAA ground stations will likely be capable of receiving both and the systems will most likely integrate both types. To soften of the sting of the equipment mandate for GA, the FAA is offering traffic and weather data on the UAT uplink.
I hear there is opposition from Boeing, as to get the air to air benefits, airlines will need to carry UAT, in addition to the Mode-S transponders they already carry. Technically, there is an integrity issue occurring too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
BTW, Multi lat will not be the answer for en route, terminal and approach surveillence. Automated Dependent Surveillence - Broadcast (ADS-B) will. Multi lat will only be part of some surface surveillence systems like ASDE-X, but even that may be quickly supplanted beacause ADS-B works on the ground as well as in the air.
Trilateration is already in use in Europe for en-route surveillance as part of the RVSM programme. There are studies to expand its use. How far they will go is anyone’s guess. There may be a transition issue with surface applications. The Mode-S transponder is usually switched–off when the wheels are on the ground, this is to reduce the airports’ SSR interrogator’s garble problems. UAT would not have that problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
As to the succeptablity of GPS to jamming, the FAA is moving towards GPS based CAT II and CAT III approches.
I wish they were, the FAA don’t have more than an R&D program, LAAS has always had funding problems in the FAA and has only survived because of congress support. At the moment Australia is leading the world with the operational installation of LAAS. Fedex may get an operational installation in Memphis too, but just for them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
A jamming event would not need to be widespread or prolonged to result in a catastophic event with an aircraft like an A380 in a zero zero landing situation. An ADS-B system that was able to use either GPS or Loran for its postional data would require both to be jammed at the same time, which would at lest make it a more difficult propostion.
LORAN has nowhere near the integrity required for landing aircraft. If you are worried about jamming, worry about the existing aids in use before worrying about GPS. No receiver is immune, especially those not designed for military use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor
Lastly, I seriously doubt we are as prepared to deal with a localized jamming situation as our government would like us to believe.
I’m with you there. 24 hours is currently thought to be the minimum response time, and that’s under best conditions. The military may have the capability, but they won’t move until requested by the civilian authorities.
02-11-2007 08:29 PM
PalmettoSailor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idiens
midlifesailor – You raise a lot of interesting points. Why would the FAA adopt LORAN for transport aircraft when it already has NDB, VOR and DME aids to navigation with GPS/WAAS now added on top?

I think LORAN receivers are also not immune to jamming, the military have the capability already. E-LORAN will be no use to existing General Aviation LORAN receivers, so new ones would need to be bought, would GA like that? Will they be mandated to carry ADS-B? Will it be UAT or Mode-S based or both? I see trilateration is also making a bid for radar’s surveillance crown.

I would not bet on the FAA adopting LORAN any time soon. It is ironic that the FAA be paid by congress study a USCG system, LORAN, for aviation; while the mariners happily use the FAA’s WAAS and sales of RTCM differential receivers are dropping. Conversely, the take-up of WAAS by air transport is currently zero. It’s an odd world.
The technolgies you are talking about stem almost from the dawn of air navigation. They are are horrendusly expensive to maintain and are rapidly becoming obsolete. NDB's are being phased out as fast as the FAA can make it happen. No commecial aircraft, and fewer and fewer GA aircraft are equipped with an ADF reciever for NDB navigation and DME is also rapidly becoming cost ineffective to maintain in a GA airplane. VOR navigation will soon follow the path of the four course range and NDB before it. GPS/WAAS/LAAS won't be piled on top of anything in the future. The ground based stuff, including ILS will go away over time. Loran may not be the answer for a back up to GPS, but until we have an answer, I'd argue we should keep the system active. I'm not sure were you got the idea WAAS was not being used for aviation. The Big Iron is using it, and Garmin has had one WAAS certified unit on the market for about 3 years and recently got upgrade approval for their top selling GNS400/500 series units.

As far as ADS-B, Yes, a mandate is comming. Even AOPA supports it. As to UAT vs. 1090ES, that decsion hasn't been made yet, but its shaping up to be both. UAT as proven itself in Alaska under the Capstone project in GA aircraft, but all new airliners are being delivered with 1090ES capabilty. The FAA ground stations will likely be capable of receiving both and the systems will most likely integrate both types. To soften of the sting of the equipment mandate for GA, the FAA is offering traffic and weather data on the UAT uplink.

BTW, Multi lat will not be the answer for en route, terminal and approach surveillence. Automated Dependent Surveillence - Broadcast (ADS-B) will. Multi lat will only be part of some surface surveillence systems like ASDE-X, but even that may be quickly supplanted beacause ADS-B works on the ground as well as in the air.

As to the succeptablity of GPS to jamming, the FAA is moving towards GPS based CAT II and CAT III approches. A jamming event would not need to be widespread or prolonged to result in a catastophic event with an aircraft like an A380 in a zero zero landing situation. An ADS-B system that was able to use either GPS or Loran for its postional data would require both to be jammed at the same time, which would at lest make it a more difficult propostion.

Lastly, I seriously doubt we are as prepared to deal with a localized jamming situation as our government would like us to believe.

Perhaps Loran will never again be popular with boaters, but if the system were going to be around, new products might be introduced that would be as accurate and reliable as GPS.
02-11-2007 03:57 PM
Idiens More than that! There is an RTCA standard for LORAN-C receivers and they got so popular with GA pilots that the USCG was persuaded to put LORAN coverage across the continent. It was very popular, but then came GPS, which got even more popular. Since GA was not actually required to have radio instruments (Mk I eyeball and a road map does fine) except in controlled airspace, were a VOR receiver is required, the GPS was a gift.

But civil transport aircraft never adopted LORAN. Their required aircraft fit is one ADF, for NDB reception, two VOR receivers for redundancy and one (usually scanning) DME receiver. When Boeing and Airbus started adding GPS and standard (FANS 1 and FANS A fits) - which means the FMS gets to use the GPS data - the thought of wanting yet another receiver was not welcomed, much to the disgruntlement of the LORAN lobby. So arguing LORAN is needed as a back-up to GPS, completely ignores the fact that DME is backing-up GPS, VOR is backing up DME and behind it ADF, not to mention a couple of pilots trained to navigate with compass,airspeed, dead reckoning and charts
02-11-2007 01:14 PM
hellosailor "It is ironic that the FAA be paid by congress study a USCG system, LORAN, for aviation;"
Not so odd if you know the genesis of it. In the 1980's USCG SAR aircraft were using civilian LORANs bought in the boating stores, simply strapping them into the cockpit and going because the equipmen WORKED.
Mind you, some of these aircraft were WW2 vintage and the electronics on them was barely newer, the USCG got the scraps one step ahead of the boneyard.

So now you have pilots, trained SAR pilots, who got used to using LORAN when then was no VOR on the target. They started to expect the same boxes in other applications, and demand grew from the bottom up--from the users--not from some pie in the sky request from some agency to Congress. The FAA has only been following, the tail of the dog.
02-11-2007 09:14 AM
Idiens midlifesailor – You raise a lot of interesting points. Why would the FAA adopt LORAN for transport aircraft when it already has NDB, VOR and DME aids to navigation with GPS/WAAS now added on top?

I think LORAN receivers are also not immune to jamming, the military have the capability already. E-LORAN will be no use to existing General Aviation LORAN receivers, so new ones would need to be bought, would GA like that? Will they be mandated to carry ADS-B? Will it be UAT or Mode-S based or both? I see trilateration is also making a bid for radar’s surveillance crown.

I would not bet on the FAA adopting LORAN any time soon. It is ironic that the FAA be paid by congress study a USCG system, LORAN, for aviation; while the mariners happily use the FAA’s WAAS and sales of RTCM differential receivers are dropping. Conversely, the take-up of WAAS by air transport is currently zero. It’s an odd world.
02-11-2007 07:58 AM
sailingdog Unless the jamming is done a widely dispersed geographic basis, say via satellite, which most terrorist organizations aren't capable of nor will be anytime in the near future, it should be relatively easy to locate and remove any such jamming systems. As HS said, it would generally only have local effects, and be relatively obvious that there was a problem, and have a relatively easy solution.
02-10-2007 11:48 PM
hellosailor Midlife-
"If we can jam it, so can folks that won't tell us about it first." Don't worry too much about GPS jamming. One of the hacker mags ran a bit about how easy it was to build a small jammer and launch it on a balloon, etc. One of the replies soon after was from someone in the military who said they'd enjoy the opportunity to have that problem. If the jammer is on the ground--it is easily RDF'd and terminated. And if the jammer is in a relatively unpopulated area? It is RDF'd and terminated by an antiradiation missile (ARM) available for that purpose. If it happens to be with the bad guys while it is operating...they get shut down too.

GPS jamming can be an inconvenience, but isn't expected to be much of a problem. Active jammers just make too good a target.
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