eLoran, game on!
Remember all the hand wringing about shutting down the Loran system? Well, the inimitable Langhorne Bond was right again; the USCG’s threat was in fact just smart politics. President Bush’s 2009 budget “migrates” Loran responsibility from the Coast Guard to another Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) unit called the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). The budget further states that NPPD will be responsible for finishing the transformation of Loran-C to Enhanced Loran (eLoran). On Feb. 7, DHS announced eLoran will not only back up marine and aviation GPS navigation, but enhance navigation for “first responders” and others operating in difficult GPS environments. This is a big deal.
But I had missed this story until a young (relatively) gentleman named Zachariah Conover sought me out at MIBS. Conover is a founder of CrossRate Technology, which has developed a serious looking Integrated GPS/Loran Receiver that’s just about ready to go. And how about this good fortune: Conover grew up on Isleboro Island (which you’d see left in the Panbo header photo if it were much wider angle), and his company is near Portland. In other words, it’s going to be easy to see what CrossRate is up to, and learn more (than I have so far) about how eLoran will make electronic navigation “belt and suspenders” reliable.