[Fwd: LF: Loran C here to stay?]

André Kesteloot akestelo@bellatlantic.net
Mon, 25 May 1998 11:10:36 -0400

This article is interesting in more ways than one...
Andre N4ICK

Alan Gale wrote:

> Hi All,
>         Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but according to the following
> article which recently appeared in the Irish Times on the subject of the
> long contested and controversial new Loran-C mast planned for Ireland, we
> might have to endure this system for at least another 15 years.
>         At a time when many of the other services such as Omega and very
> soon Decca Navigator are disappearing from the LF bands, it looks as
> though Loran will be here to torment us for some time yet!
> ==========================
> Tuesday, May 5, 1998
> Institute backs Loran-C radio mast for Clare
> By Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent
> The Nautical Institute has expressed support for construction of the
> controversial Loran-C radio navigation mast in Co Clare. It says it is a
> vital component of safety at sea.
> Lieut Gary Delaney, a Naval Service retiree and spokesman for the
> institute's Irish branch, said the Loran-C system was approved by all
> professional mariners as part of an independent system of cross-checking in
> navigation.
> The fears of health risks from the proposed mast were not valid, he said, as
> the frequency emitted from its signal would be 1500 times less than
> microwave emissions from a mobile phone mast, and even less than that of a
> household medium-wave radio.
> Planning approval for building the 720-foot mast was recently issued by the
> Supreme Court, but the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources, Dr
> Woods, has promised to hold a public consultation forum before making a
> decision and introducing special legislation, if needs be.
> But under an international agreement approved by the Oireachtas in 1992,
> Ireland is bound to sign up to the Loran-C system and to site the mast as
> part of the European network. The Commissioners of Irish Lights were
> appointed agents of the Government to construct the mast at Loop Head, and
> 55 per cent of the cost is to be borne by France and the Netherlands, as
> members of the North-West European Loran-C Navigation System.
> Lieut Delaney said that LoranC would guarantee independent back-up for the
> existing GPS satellite system in European waters for the next 15 years.
> Professional mariners now used integrated navigational systems on bridges,
> and would never rely on one system alone, he said.
> The standard GPS satellite system is accurate to 100 metres.
> Differential GPS, which is being introduced by the General Lighthouse
> Authority in British and Irish waters as a free service to mariners and
> fishermen, had an accuracy of 10 metres.
> The land-based Loran-C system aims to replace the Decca system, which is to
> be phased out by next year.
> The terrestrial systems have two advantages, he said - independence, given
> that GPS was a US military-owned system and could be switched off at any
> stage, and "repeatable" accuracy, which meant errors in longitude and
> latitude were always fixed. The EU and the European Space Agency have taken
> the first steps towards independence in satellite navigation by installing
> signals on the last two INMARSAT communications satellites.
> © Copyright: The Irish Times
> Contact: itwired@irish-times.com
>                 73 and Good LF, Alan G4TMV.
>         ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>         From:           Alan Gale G4TMV
>         Location:       North-West England. IO83VP Lancs 53:39.3N 2:10.6W.
>         Equipment:      Kenwood TS830M + Datong PC1 & VLF Converters + FL3.
>                         Sony ICF 2001D. G5RV, Marconi T, various Spiral Loops.
>         Interests:      Search & Rescue,Beacons,Maritime,Aero,Scanning,TV DX.
>         Editor of:      Bi-monthly 'Beacons & Utes' column, Medium Wave Circle.
>                         Quarterly 'Links FM' column British FM & TV Circle.
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>         ----------------------------------------------------------------------