UK, November 3, 2014: Amidst fear of GNSS blackout due to solar flares or tactical jamming, few shipping businesses have started deploying backup ground-based navigation system called eLoran across UK.
The Loran, or Long Range Navigation system, was originally developed back in WWII to safely steer ships. The General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs) have been providing their prototype eLoran trial service since 2007. However, with all of today's shipping heavily dependent on GPS for steering and safety, the General Lighthouse Authorities has installed the upgraded eLoran system in seven ports around the UK to keep boats full of gadgets arriving safely in the event of a GNSS outage or deliberate jamming attack.
Dover, Sheerness, Harwich and Felixstowe are among the places to let ships use this backup local location system now, although without governmental backing from overseas shippers, it's likely to remain a niche emergency alternative to GNSS rather than a mainstream navigation option. Several other countries are considering whether to set up their own versions of the system, including South Korea, which was jammed by its northern neighbour in 2012.
The signal from one of the ground radio stations is one million times stronger than a signal from a satellite. The system is likely to be extended to the west coast and Ireland within six years.