eLoran: Making GPS ReliableA new enhanced Loran (eLoran) service officially launched today will reinforce safety, security and protection of the marine environment around the coasts of the UK and Ireland.
This eLoran service is being provided by the General Lighthouse Authorities of the United Kingdom and Ireland (GLAs) in conjunction with VT Communications (VTC) on a trial basis. It is a precise radionavigation system for all maritime users that meets the 10 metre accuracy requirements for maritime harbour entrance and approach and is a precise source of time and frequency for marine communications.
Dr Sally Basker, the GLAsﾒ Director of Research and Radionavigation says: ﾓeLoran is an independent, dissimilar complement to GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System). It allows users to retain their GNSS-levels of navigational safety even when their satellite services are disrupted. The international maritime community now understands that its future, digital e Navigation environment needs an internationally agreed alternative system to GNSS. eLoran is the only viable candidate.ﾔ
The GLAs signed a 15-year contract with VTC in May 2007 to provide the service. VTC has subsequently relocated the existing eLoran transmitter from the Midlands to a new building in Cumbria and installed a new antenna. The first test signals were broadcast on schedule in October 2007.
Today marks the culmination of extensive calibration and testing activity during which the Cumbrian station has been integrated into the European network of eLoran transmitters controlled from Brest, France.
Doug Umbers, VTCﾒs Managing Director, explains: ﾓThe eLoran service will benefit from our expertise in delivering critical communications to customers including the BBC and the Ministry of Defence. We will be working closely with the GLAs to deliver further enhancements as part of the continuing efforts to improve navigation around our coasts.ﾔ
Notes To EditorsThe General Lighthouse Authorities
The General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs) of the United Kingdom and Ireland are Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Together, they have the statutory responsibility for the provision of marine aids to navigation (AtoNs) around the British Isles. The GLAs are funded by “Light Dues” charged on various classes of shipping calling at ports in the UK and Ireland. The Secretary of State for Transport sets the level of light dues to be charged. The GLAs’ joint mission is the delivery of a reliable, efficient and cost effective AtoN service for the benefit and safety of all mariners.
VT Communications, part of VT Group plc, is a leading specialist communications services company, providing innovative technical solutions and systems integration across the RF spectrum from Very Low Frequency (VLF) to Super High Frequency (SHF) from 29 locations around the world. VT Communications designs, builds, operates, maintains and supports mission critical infrastructure for some of the most demanding organisations among them defence organisations, national governments, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), broadcasters and space agencies.
VT Communications has extensive expertise in developing everything from principal infrastructure to delivering unique customised technical solutions. Its core capabilities include Radio Frequency Engineering, ICT, Specialist Vehicle & Container Engineering and Power Generation & Distribution, providing all technical support services, communications facilities management and project management. Currently, VT Communications provides such services for a broad range of customers including the UK Ministry of Defence, the Swedish Navy, European Space Agency and global relief organisations.
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