Exelis (NYSE: XLS), UrsaNav, Inc., the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), and the U.S. Coast Guard have entered into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) for testing and demonstration at former LORAN-C sites. These sites are the legacy ground-based radio navigation infrastructure of the decommissioned LORAN-C service that could be retained and upgraded to provide eLORAN low frequency service.
The team will evaluate eLORAN as a potential complementary system to the current Global Positioning System (GPS) currently in wide use throughout the United States. The capabilities and potential utilization methods of eLORAN will be explored in depth to identify all strengths, capacities, and potential vulnerabilities of the technology.
Under the CRADA, Exelis will use the former LORAN-C assets to put eLORAN signals in space for research, test and demonstration of the ability of eLORAN to meet precise positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) requirements of government and privately-owned critical infrastructure. The first station Exelis will broadcast from is located in Wildwood, NJ. The broadcast will provide a usable signal at a range up to 1000 miles.
“eLORAN is an ideal technology to complement GPS for critical, resilient and assured PNT,” said Ed Sayadian, vice president of Civil & Aerospace Systems for Exelis. “eLORAN is a difficult to disrupt technology that offers PNT and wide area broadcast data capabilities indoors, in underground locations and other GPS-denied environments.”
“A preponderance of government, academic, and industry reports have concluded that eLORAN is the best independent, multi-modal solution to provide assured PNT as a complement to GPS,” said Chuck Schue, president and CEO of UrsaNav.
Exelis and UrsaNav have entered into this CRADA because they believe that low frequency signals, such as eLORAN, operate independently of GPS signals and can provide alternative timing, either standalone, or as a component of a PNT service. Exelis also believes that as a result of its wealth of experience in its PNT portfolio, that there are many civil and defense applications that require precise time and/or position in GPS-denied environments. Examples include radio frequency interference, both intentional and unintentional; signal attenuation from heavy forest canopy, terrain or buildings; and indoor and underground locations.
Date: May 26, 2015