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Old 14-01-2010, 13:20   #16
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My understanding was that they were discontinuing Loran C only, and switching to eLoran. Is this not so, Coast Guard Public Affairs guy?
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Old 14-01-2010, 13:57   #17
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Well, if GPS ever goes down some sailors may have to learn how to navigate.
...and, the US Navy would have to reinstate celestial navigation in cadets' training. My memory is a little fuzzy but I believe the Navy had discontinued requiring sextant use and celestial navigation requirements from the curriculum due to excellent GPS reliability/availability. Then again, I am a little biased as an ex Air Force guy
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Old 14-01-2010, 14:03   #18
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I just got home from work and I don't have all the information with me- I'll take a look when I'm back in the office on Sunday and I'll post the answer then.

-And regarding celestial nav, we had to do two full years of celestial nav at Texas Maritime Academy when I went there. It's surprising to me that it is such a big deal at the Merchant Marine schools but not at the Service Academies.
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Old 15-01-2010, 05:55   #19
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From the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn:

The U.S. Coast Guard gave notice Jan. 7 that it will start decommissioning the long range navigation (loran-C) system beginning Feb. 8.
All loran stations will cease transmission by Oct. 1, according to the notice. While loran-C is not now widely used for navigation, government and independent agencies have recommended using an enhanced version of it, eLoran, as a national backup system for GPS. The termination of loran will leave the country without a single national backup system in the event of a GPS outage.
“Recent reports have shown that the constellation of satellites is vulnerable to outages and service disruptions,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of operations and international affairs. “AOPA has long cautioned against decommissioning loran before a separate navigation system is established as a backup.”
The vulnerability of satellite coverage was made clear in 2007, when a scheduled Navy training exercise in the Port of San Diego unintentionally jammed GPS signals, shutting down satellite-based navigation, tracking, and cell phone services. Outages could become more frequent as older satellites reach the end of their operational life: A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in 2009 concluded that many of the older satellites in use could stop working faster than they can be replenished, possibly resulting in reductions in service as early as this year.
In the event of a loss of GPS-based services, the Coast Guard says that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has determined that sufficient alternative navigation aids currently exist and that loran is not needed. However, a 2006 Independent Assessment Team (IAT) report commissioned by the DOT and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) found that “eLoran is the only cost-effective backup for national needs … . It is a seamless backup, and its use will deter threats to U.S. national and economic security by disrupting (jamming) GPS reception.” IAT reiterated its support of eLoran in 2009.
The DOT and DHS jointly recommended in 2007 that eLoran be the national backup for GPS, and DHS formally announced in February 2008 its intention to implement eLoran as a national positioning, navigation, and timing system to complement GPS in the event of an outage or disruption in service.
Loran-C has been periodically slashed from budgets over the past several years, but it has always been restored pending a decision on what system will be in place if satellite services are disrupted. Decommissioning loran-C would eliminate the infrastructure upon which a potential eLoran system would rely.
The 2010 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, signed into law in October 2009, allows for the termination of the system subject to the Coast Guard certifying that termination of the signal will not adversely impact the safety of maritime navigation and DHS certifying that the infrastructure is not needed as a backup to GPS or to meet any other federal navigation requirement. The Coast Guard determined that those certifications were made.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, shutting down loran-C will save $36 million in fiscal 2010 and $190 million over five years.
The fact of the mater is GPS signals are weak and easily jammed, loran signals are very powerful and due to their low frequency very difficult to jam. And the cost savings of decommissioning loran in the overall scheme of things is not that great.
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Old 15-01-2010, 07:11   #20
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As a Master Mariner who has sailed all over the world for 40 years, LORAN, in all its forms, should have been discontinued years ago. It wasn't that "continuously" accurate and at times, was unusable at all. GPS has made a mockery of LORAN. To the naysayers of GPS and its accuracy (and they are, simply put, wrong); if GPS accuracy was to degrade 50 times, it would still be infinitely better that LORAN.

I have seen LORAN fixes over 10 miles in error. You "Doom and Gloomers"have to wake up and understand what GPS was originally intended for, and you might then understand why the system, or one like it, will never go away.
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Old 15-01-2010, 18:03   #21
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The GPS alternatives are already working, aren't they. So let's hope they will get cheaper and then let's just wait and see the first serious GPS break-down and pop will come the govts and build a back-up system. Bet?

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Old 16-01-2010, 16:17   #22
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The GPS alternatives are already working, aren't they.
Wait. Let me go check. Yep. There are stars in the sky.

There have always been alternatives to GPS, even long before Loran came along. They still exist. Are there sailors out there who are too frickin' stupid to use the alternatives? Well, DUH!!!

Nonetheless, the plain, undeniable fact of the matter is that Loran is a system that had limited use, and has EXTREMELY few users today. It is simply (warning! opinion ahead!) too expensive to maintain for the very few users who remain. Good riddance to it! It was wonderful in its day, but its day is long gone.

There simply are not enough tax dollars out there to support every little project that every tiny group of people want. The fundamental job of a politician is to decide how to spend the EXTREMELY limited tax dollars that are available so that they will benefit the most people in the most important ways. Eliminating the expenses of maintaining the Loran system is a GOOD THING!

Celebrate this! Do not bemoan it! The future is here and now, and it is time to step boldly into it!

(Barnakiel, I hope you realize that I am not addressing these comments specifically to you, but simply using your comments as a jumping off point for addressing those who think the death of Loran is the end of the civilized world as we know it.)
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Old 17-01-2010, 17:29   #23
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No offense taken;-)

I did not mean the astro. I don think an average sailor (including an average ocean crossing sailor, whatever this could mean) knows how to use the sextant. In fact, most ocean crossing boats do not have one onboard.

For those who do not care, or cannot, there is the alternative of the other satellite positioning system. I think Magellan already sells the unit.

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Old 18-01-2010, 08:22   #24
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Nonetheless, the plain, undeniable fact of the matter is that Loran is a system that had limited use, and has EXTREMELY few users today. It is simply (warning! opinion ahead!) too expensive to maintain for the very few users who remain. Good riddance to it! It was wonderful in its day, but its day is long gone.

There simply are not enough tax dollars out there to support every little project that every tiny group of people want. The fundamental job of a politician is to decide how to spend the EXTREMELY limited tax dollars that are available so that they will benefit the most people in the most important ways. Eliminating the expenses of maintaining the Loran system is a GOOD THING!
Aside frome being supercilious, for foregoing reveals painful ignorance of reality.

During the comment period that followed the USCG's announcement that it was considering discontinuing LORAN in the the early 2000's over 40,000 responders--a large majority involved in commercial fishng as well as recreational marine and civil aviation activities--reported that they utilized LORAN as either a primary or reliable back-up navigation system. Accordingly, the system was, then, preserved.

The arguement is that "The fundamental job of a politician is to decide how to spend the EXTREMELY limited tax dollars..." is so laughable I find it astonishing that anyone would utter such a sentiment in public without embarassment. Firstly, extremely limited tax dollars have never been an impediment to Federal spening as evidence by the exponential growth of the Federal deficit in the last 12 months alone. The disconnect between the borrower/spenders and the indebted/repayees is so great that there is no hesitation to borrow and spend. In fact, Barny Frank, John Murtha and Ted Stevens, to name just a few, base much of their reelection campaign efforts on their ability to "bring home the bacon"--i.e. earmarks--from Washington.

If the arguement is that the Pols' decisions on spending are predicated on the the proposition that "...they will benefit the most people in the most important ways", that is belied by a few of the "responsible spending" items included in the recent spending Bill's

Abstracted from the Citizens Against Government Waste's "Pig Book":

Quote:
$4,545,000 for wood utilization research in 10 states by 19 senators and 10 representatives. This research has cost taxpayers $95.3 million since 1985.

$2,192,000 by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), then-House appropriator James Walsh (R-N.Y.), and Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.) for the Center for Grape Genetics in Geneva.

$1,791,000 by Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee member Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) for swine odor and manure management research in Ames. According to the Agriculture Research Service’s website, the purpose of the research is to “generate and integrate knowledge for evaluation and development of new management practices that minimize nutrient excretion, malodorous emissions, and the release of pathogens into the environment as well as have a positive impact on animal health.
The foreoging not withstanding, the decision has evidently been made and further discussion avails us naught. I suspect, however, that the move will be lamented as foolish and short sighted sooner than later, and not the least by those for whom Navigation and Coastal Piloting are "black arts" also discarded in favor of reliance on a single system.

For those who advocate such single system reliance, however, I wounder if you would be equally willing to be hauled to a mast-head in a Bosen's seat not also attached to a secondary halyard "just in case"--for the sake of saving the cost of the seconday halyard of course.

FWIW...
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Old 18-01-2010, 10:23   #25
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Adendum

While irrelevant to the subject of LORAN, for a more thorough summary of profligate spending complied from various CBO & GAO reports, the Congressional Record et al see the "Pig Book" at Citizens Against Government Waste:
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Old 22-01-2010, 12:54   #26
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Announcement Regarding Loran-C Service


On January 7, 2010, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) announced the termination of the U.S. Loran-C signal and phased decommissioning of the U.S. Loran-C infrastructure. The USCG will terminate the transmissions of all US domestic Loran-C signals including those covering the Great Lakes Loran-C Chain GRI 8970 and the Northeast U.S. Loran-C Chain GRI 9960 at 2000z on February 8, 2010. All U.S. Loran-C stations are expected to cease transmitting by October 1, 2010. Other chains that are jointly operated by the U.S. and Canada will continue to be operational up to October 1, 2010.


The Loran-C systems in Canada and U.S. work in tandem. Once the U.S. service is discontinued, the Canadian system will not be operational. Consequently, Canada will also decommission its Loran-C system in 2010. The official date for termination in Canada has not been set at this time, although it is expected to take place on or before October 1, 2010.
Authorities in Canada and the U.S. will be collaborating on plans to discontinue Loran-C systems to minimize disruption in navigation services. Updates will be provided on CCG’s Notices to Mariners website (Privacy Policy)and in CCG's monthly Notice to Mariners as further detail becomes available.
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Old 22-01-2010, 13:47   #27
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Uh... Let me get this straight. The argument is that the federal government wastes lots of money in lots of different ways, and so that makes it okay for them to keep wasting yet MORE money on the Loran system, which very few people use. Okay. Got it. Yeah. That makes lots of sense. No reason to be embarrassed to express THAT sentiment!

And you keep talking about relying on a single system, but--once again, for those who weren't paying attention the first time--there always have been and always will be a multitude of alternatives to GPS. Even other electronic navigation systems, if you want to pretend that things like dead reckoning and celestial navigation don't really exist.

The death of Loran is a VERY GOOD THING! I am happy that my tax dollars will no longer be wasted in that particular way, even if they may continue to be wasted in other ways.
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Old 22-01-2010, 13:58   #28
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The argument is that the federal government wastes lots of money in lots of different ways,
Well not here at least. If it is, this thread will be closed. We are not a political discussion forum (see the masthead above) and we are also international as well.

Take political discussions to a forum any place else but here and enjoy the depth of the argument ad nauseam. There are far more forums about politics than about boating. Go there and support their click ads.
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Old 22-01-2010, 14:56   #29
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...and, the US Navy would have to reinstate celestial navigation in cadets' training. My memory is a little fuzzy but I believe the Navy had discontinued requiring sextant use and celestial navigation requirements from the curriculum due to excellent GPS reliability/availability. Then again, I am a little biased as an ex Air Force guy
The merchant marine academies still require celestial. Looks like it may happen one day that the "grey stack" fleet ends up following the merchant ships in order to get home.
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Old 22-01-2010, 15:35   #30
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For those who advocate such single system reliance, however, I wounder if you would be equally willing to be hauled to a mast-head in a Bosen's seat not also attached to a secondary halyard "just in case"--for the sake of saving the cost of the seconday halyard of course.
I never use a backup halyard to go to the masthead. the breaking strength of 5/16" sta-set is 3,000 lbs. I'm feeling comfortable within that range.

Feeling equally comfy without a loran unit. I never really liked the system in the first place.
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