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    Re: LORAN-C to be shut down.
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2009 Dec 04, 20:02 -0800
    I would agree that very few recreational boaters use Loran-C these days (unless your boat is old enough, like mine, to have been equipped with a Loran-C receiver before GPS came into wide use).   In fact, I'm not aware of any sources of new Loran-C receivers for recreational boats.

    The real concern is that GPS, while a wonderful system, has some significant vulnerabilities (I'll remind folks of my post a few months back about a defective TV antenna pre-amp that took out GPS coverage within three or four miles of its location).  Forget the recreational mariner, there are a host of others -- ranging from commercial ships to aircraft -- that rely on electronic navigation.   (Imagine doing a 0-0 instrument approach in a commercial airliner and having somebody's electronic toy blot out the GPS signal).

    Often overlooked is the need for timing signals with sub-microsecond accuracy, needed by certain cellphone systems among others.   There are specialized GPS and Loran receivers that provide these timing signals.
     
    Two years ago a (US) federal panel strongly recommended an independent (independent in tenchnology, location, function, you name it) navigation system as a backup to GPS and identified Loran-C as the preferred alternative.  This same panel recommended killing Loran this year.   I, for one, can not imagine a valid technological reason for this 180-degree shift.

    Anabasis75---.com wrote:
    I read the following on a maritime forum site.  Looks like LORAN-C systems run by the US will be shut down sooner than we thought.
    -----------------------------
    The US Coast Guard released an internal message advising of the imminent termination of the long range aid to navigation Loran-C. Current plans call for the termination process to commence on 4 January 2010. The process is expected to take several months. ALCOAST 675/09 (11/25/09). Note: This will mark the end of an era that started during World War II. The Loran system has improved greatly over the years and was on the edge of yet another advance: to enhanced Loran (eLoran). It is unclear how other nations, which operate their own independent Loran-C systems, will react to this development.
    Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 1 December 2009
    ------------------------------
     
    Not that this will affect many large ships.  My ship hasn't had LORAN capabilities since the antenna broke 3 years ago and the captain was too afraid to order a new antenna.  Most merchant ships are utterly dependent on GPS at this point, and would have a tough time remembering how to use the sextant if it came down to that point.  It will only get worse when the younger generations take command, having never known a time without GPS.
     
    JCA
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