Chronos and UrsaNav partner on Loran PNT networks

December 3, 2015  - By

Taviga-logoThe founders of Chronos and UrsaNav have formed a new collaboration, named Taviga, that will focus on preserving and establishing low-frequency (LF) positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) networks the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States, using repurposed Loran-C or purpose-built eLoran technology.

Taviga — named for timing and navigation — aims to ensure timing and navigation for critical infrastructure from cyber and other threats, and address the concern that over-dependence on single systems for PNT increases vulnerability.

According to a joint press release, “Taviga combines the founders’ decades of experience specializing in low-frequency (LF) PNT technology and industrial timing applications at national and international levels. Its objective is to provide a commercially operated assured LF PNT service.”

Charles Curry, founder of Chronos Technology Ltd. in the UK, and Charles Schue, founder of UrsaNav Inc. in the United States, joined forces to launch Taviga Ltd. and Taviga LLC. Taviga anticipates working in partnership with government agencies and other entities that have a vested interest in reducing the vulnerability and improving the resilience of critical national infrastructure with a dependency on the GPS and other GNSS sources of PNT.

“We have been researching the precise timing capability of eLoran transmissions for over 10 years,” Curry said. “During that time, the system has never failed and most impressively it has continued to deliver sub-microsecond time accuracy traceable to UTC in some very challenging locations including deep inside buildings.

“Our research program was supported by the UK’s Innovation Agency – Innovate UK through two flagship projects, GAARDIAN and SENTINEL,” Curry continued. These two projects highlighted the vulnerabilities that threaten GPS signals (and in the future, Galileo) such as jamming, interference and spoofing. They also demonstrated how eLoran is a technically dissimilar source of PNT and not vulnerable to the same types of interference. eLoran is a truly complementary source of PNT ideal for use in critical infrastructure applications that demand precise time and timing such as telecoms, broadcasting, financial services and power utilities.

“Every government, academic and industrial study has resulted in the selection of the LF technology known as Enhanced Loran, or eLoran, as the best wide-area complement to GNSS,” Schue said. “There is no doubt that the combination of GNSS and eLoran provides the PNT resilience that most users require.

“Whether the application is timing/frequency, aviation, maritime, land-mobile, or location based, integrated GNSS-eLoran solutions can provide the proof-of-time and proof-of-position necessary to safeguard national infrastructure and for business continuity of operations,” Schue said. “Additionally, adding eLoran into the PNT mix enables or enhances the capabilities of regional and purpose-built solutions. PNT resilience results from an eco-system made up of layered solutions. Over reliance on a single solution is neither prudent nor safe. It’s time for Taviga.”

Tests have been conducted as part of Innovate UK supported research projects GAARDIAN and SENTINEL, which were led by Chronos Technology Ltd and included UrsaNav’s eLoran receiver engine. eLoran transmissions from the UK, Denmark, Germany, France and Norway have consistently demonstrated positioning accuracies of better than ten meters and timing accuracies of less than 100 nanoseconds in the area of differential eLoran reference sites. Taviga will now seek to engage those governments and others in discussions as to how to transition their Loran stations to commercial operation.

Taviga’s goal is the long-term operation of an eLoran system for at least 10 years. This length of time provides the necessary service assurance continuity to enable industrial users to invest with confidence in an eLoran-based timing and navigation service that complements their GNSS solutions. As users become accustomed to the additional capabilities and resilience provided with a combined GNSS-eLoran solution, Taviga expects to expand the service footprint into other countries worldwide.

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