Department for Transport approves implementation of seven differential eLoran stations along the UK coastline
The UK’s pursuit of technology to counter the threat of GPS jamming
has achieved a ‘significant milestone’.
Seven differential eLoran stations will
be installed along the South and East coast of the UK, following
approval by the Department for Transport.
The stations will provide
alternative position, navigation and timing (PNT) information to ensure
that ships equipped with eLoran receivers can navigate safely in the
event of GPS failure in one of the busiest shipping regions in the
The UK is the first in the world to deploy this technology for
shipping companies operating both passenger and cargo services.
rollout, led by the General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs) of the UK and
Ireland, will replace the equipment in two prototype stations at Dover
and Harwich, and five new stations will be deployed in the Medway,
Humber, Middlesbrough, Firth of Forth, and Aberdeen.
The GLAs have
contracted UrsaNav Inc. for the deployment to deliver initial
operational capability by Summer 2014.
Setting the global benchmark
Several nations around the world are consulting with the GLAs to
benefit from its knowledge and experience of eLoran and other resilient
South Korea, for example, has expressed that it wants
to establish an eLoran alliance with the UK while it pursues its own
rollout of differential eLoran stations, due for completion in 2015.
Last year, South Korea was the victim of a 16-day GPS jamming attack by
Today, many devices and applications rely on GPS-based information,
including telecommunications, smart grids, and high frequency trading,
and it plays a fundamental role in delivering the PNT data that ships
rely on to ensure safe navigation.
GPS signals are vulnerable to both
deliberate and accidental jamming, which is causing increasing concern
because of the wide availability of GPS jammers online for as little as
£30 capable of causing complete outages across all receivers currently
on the market.
Martin Bransby, research and radionavigation manager at the GLAs, said: ‘Demands on marine navigation continue to increase and
awareness of the vulnerability of GPS is growing, yet electronic systems
at sea have not evolved at a sufficient pace to meet these challenges.
‘This announcement is a significant step towards improving safety at
sea, but few vessels currently have receivers to take advantage of the
‘We hope that the maritime industry will respond
proactively to the new stations rollout by installing eLoran receivers
on more vessels.’
Improving navigational safety
Stephen Hammond, Minister for Shipping, added:’The
deployment of seven eLoran stations follows the successful
demonstration of eLoran as a resilient PNT technology and puts the UK at
the forefront of developments to improve navigational safety.
the General Lighthouse Authorities on this initiative and am keen to
see how it benefits mariners when in use up and down the country.’
Charles Schue, president and CEO of UrsaNav, said: ‘The number
of enquiries we receive about eLoran and other resilient PNT technology
continues to increase and we are now approached for further information
on a daily basis.
‘Much of this is testament to the example being set in
the UK, raising awareness of the need for a robust backup to GPS.’
ELoran technology is based on longwave radio signals and is
independent and complementary to GPS.
The General Lighthouse Authorities
carried out the world’s first successful demonstration of a prototype
automatic resilient PNT (positioning, navigation and timing) system
using eLoran, in trials completed aboard the THV Galatea out of Harwich
on several excursions between 28 February and 1 March this year.
Full operational capability covering all major ports is expected by 2019.
GLA_eLoran – prototype receiver
GLA_eLoranTrials – Display showing GPS
GLA_THV Galatea – the ship onboard which recent eLoran trials were conducted
Martin Bransby, research and
radionavigation manager at the GLAs