Wednesday, January 24, 2007

LORAN Users Unite!

The U.S.Coast Guard is requesting comments from recreational boaters regarding the elimination of the 2007 Loran budget by Homeland Security. Congress voted to allow funding for the system for one more year and the U.S.C.G. is asking for public comments in order to evaluate the future of LORAN.

According to Elaine Dickinson at BoatU.S. Government Affairs, "With the GPS signal being relatively weak there is concern that it is susceptible to jamming, which could present national security problems if it is the sole navigation system for the U.S." But she adds that "Testing has shown LORAN to be virtually jam-proof. There is a strong case to be made for keeping LORAN as a relatively low-cost, ground-based backup to satellite-based GPS."

Dickinson also notes that the Coast Guard just spent $160 million to modernize the system.

Click here to share your comments with the U.S.C.G. (Coast Guard docket number USCG-2006-24685).

1 comment:

Ben Ellison said...

I strongly believe that Loran should be preserved and improved as a backup to GPS, which I discussed in the Q&A section my PMY column last August (not online for reasons I fail to understand!). I also wrote an entry on my electronics blog detailing specifics of how to register comments with U.S.C.G. Please consider making a comment yourself.