News

UK-US Joint Venture Heralds New Dawn for Loran

December 3, 2015 -
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Press Release

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“Taviga”, challenging the threat of Global Navigation Satellite Systems’ (GNSS) susceptibility to interference and jamming

Lydbrook, Gloucestershire, UK, 3rd December 2015, the founders of Chronos and UrsaNav have formed a new collaboration, known as “Taviga”, to enhance the resilience and reliability of the many economic and business models that depend on space-based timing and positioning services. As good as space-based services are, they are known to have a susceptibility to interference and jamming.

Taviga is the concatenation of parts of the words for Timing and Navigation. The company is focused on the provision of Assured Timing and Navigation to secure our critical infrastructure from cyber and other threats, thereby addressing the growing concern that overdependence on single systems for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) makes us vulnerable. 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 USA, have joined forces to launch Taviga Ltd and Taviga, LLC. Taviga will focus on preserving and establishing LF PNT networks the UK, Europe and the USA using repurposed Loran-C or purpose-built eLoran technology. Taviga anticipates working in partnership with Government Agencies and other entities who have a vested interest in reducing the vulnerability and improving the resilience of critical national infrastructure with a dependency on the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) sources of PNT.

Charles Curry said: “We have been researching the precise timing capability of eLoran transmissions for over 10 years. 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 programme was supported by the UK’s Innovation Agency – Innovate UK through two flagship projects GAARDIAN and SENTINEL. 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.

Charles Schue said: “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. 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-ofposition necessary to safeguard national infrastructure and for business continuity of operations. 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. Overreliance 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 100ns 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 ten 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.

About Taviga

taviga-logoTaviga Ltd and Taviga LLC are affiliated companies, both initially co-owned by Charles Curry and Charles Schue. Taviga Ltd (www.taviga.co.uk or www.taviga.eu) will operate with an initial focus on the UK and European markets. Taviga LLC (www.taviga.com) will operate with an initial focus on North American markets.

Contact Points:

 

About Chronos Technology Ltd

Fchronos-logoounded by Professor Charles Curry in 1986, Chronos provides time, timing, phase and distribution systems for industrial networks including the communications, energy and finance markets. Chronos also specialises in components and systems for industrial resilient navigation and timing solutions including global satellite systems (GNSS), eLoran transmissions and GNSS jamming detection. For additional information, visit our websites at www.chronos.co.uk or www.gps-world.biz.

About UrsaNav, Inc.

ursanav-logoUrsaNav, Inc. is the global leader in the provision of LF PNT solutions, whether it be Loran-C or eLoran technology, equipment, and services. Founded in 2004 by Charles Schue, UrsaNav’s personnel have been involved in every technical advance in Loran-C and eLoran technology since the early 1970s, resulting in deep experience in the design, development, and deployment of terrestrial PNT systems. For more information, visit our website at www.ursanav.com.

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UrsaNav Makes the Case for Innovation and eLoran to Protect our Critical National Infrastructure

November 24, 2015 -
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A GPS World article authored by UrsaNav, outlines why eLoran and Resilient PNT are critical to the national security of the United States and its allies. We believe that Resilient PNT is a necessary step in protecting critical infrastructure like telecommunication networks, electric grids, and financial networks from cyber-attacks.

Read the full article from GPS World.

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UrsaNav Highlights Sage Advice on eLoran and Resilient PNT

November 13, 2015 -
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(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

A current GPS World article highlights how the United States has an opportunity to regain its leadership in PNT technology by implementing an eLoran system to protect our national critical infrastructure. UrsaNav stands behind, and give much merit to the numerous government studies and reports that have been conducted over the last 15 years and they all point towards a single solution… eLoran. The world is requesting, almost begging for, US leadership on this critical national security issue. We certainly hope that our elected leaders will listen.

Read the full article from GPS World.

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UrsaNav Responds to Plans to Decommission Many Sites of US Nationwide DGPS

November 6, 2015 -
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UrsaNav responds to US Department of Transportation request for comment (Docket Number DOT-OST-2015-0105) on the government’s plans to decommission many of the sites of US Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS).


We accept and acknowledge the government’s decision to decommission 62 of the current NDGPS sites. We strongly suggest that the government make no immediate plans to dismantle or dispose of these sites because we believe they are a very valuable national resource that could be used for other national services. We believe that many of these sites have the potential of providing precise timing services to Critical US Infrastructure as part of a an eLoran timing service. An eLoran timing service is currently under consideration by the government and many of these sites have the potential to be repurposed as either differential eLoran reference sites or low power eLoran transmitting sites. We also believe that spare technology for these sites at the organizational or depot level (i.e., shelters, generators, antennae, and the like) has the potential to be repurposed.

UrsaNav, Inc. is a strong advocate of resilient PNT. A resilient PNT ecosystem is a logical step in securing our critical infrastructure from GPS disruptions. It also provides industry with an opportunity to create innovative new products and services based on complementary PNT solutions. Each technology in the ecosystem can build on the strengths of others, while reducing the threats caused by the inherent vulnerabilities in every system. We believe that many of the NDGPS sites could be used for multiple purposes, such as a component of an eLoran solution, continuing as part of the CORS network, or for other timing, navigation, or emergency notification services. We request that the government seek input on alternative uses for these sites prior to dismantling equipment or disposing of the sites.

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UrsaNav’s Low-Frequency Solutions Division Becomes, well, UrsaNav!

September 11, 2015 -
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On September 1st, we completed the spin-off of the Low-Frequency (LF) Business Unit of UrsaNav into a brand new company called, well, UrsaNav! We have now separated the old UrsaNav into three distinct companies, each focused on its core expertise and customers.

The office and personnel that used to comprise the Low-Frequency Business Unit in North Billerica, Massachusetts will retain the UrsaNav name. The office in Bertem, Belgium will remain a satellite of UrsaNav. This “new” company will, at its core, provide Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) products and solutions, such as Loran-C, Enhanced Loran, Chayka, eChayka, DGPS, and the like. I will remain CEO of UrsaNav, and will retain the title of President for the time being.

Stephen Bartlett remains the Vice President of Operations, and Erik Johannessen is the Vice President of Business Development. They are completely focused on helping our customers decrease their dependency on sole-means PNT solutions, such as GNSS. Our extremely knowledgeable products and services solutions team has been providing Loran-C and eLoran solutions worldwide since the 1970’s.

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UrsaNav Presents the Power of eLoran at Washington DC ION Meeting

July 25, 2015 -
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On July 22, 2015, UrsaNav contributed to a very successful meeting of the Washington DC Section of The Institute of Navigation (ION), hosted by the ION at the US Naval Observatory (USNO). Charles Schue gave a presentation entitled “Sharing Time Using Enhanced Loran”. Additionally, along with UrsaNav staff Dr. Gerard Offermans and Andrei Grebnev, he demonstrated eLoran’s ability to provide UTC synchronized timing indoors at the USNO using an H-Field antenna that was receiving signals from a transmitting site in Wildwood, NJ, over 118 miles away. During the same event, Congressman Garamendi (D-CA) spoke about the critical need for eLoran as a complementary PNT alternative to GPS.

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UrsaNav Facilitates Recent eLoran Signal Test

June 8, 2015 -
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eLoran Signal Tests Start, Could Demonstrate GPS Backup Alternative

This past Friday, June 19th, marks an important milestone in the pursuit of the establishment of an eLoran network to complement the positioning, navigation and timing of GPS within the United States.

The CEO of UrsaNav, Mr. Charles Schue, has fought tirelessly to facilitate the rebirth of the eLoran System, and has helped to spearhead its revival through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between the DHS, USCG, Harris and UrsaNav. After a long road, a significant step towards increased terrestrial support was made when Congressman Frank LoBiondo flipped a switch to activate the transmission of the eLoran signal on Friday. Although the signal was only for test purposes, the work of Charles Schue and others assures the government’s continued commitment to reliable PNT services.

See the current media coverage on the recent eLoran signal test!

 

SignalLive3Schue, CEO of UrsaNav explains the eLoran system. Friday, June 19, 2015 – Coast Guard unveils new additions to the loran navigation system at the Coast Guard station in Diamond Beach, which some thought would be scuttled due to rise in GPS, but instead it was reworked. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

 

Rep. Frank LoBiondo turns on the eLoran system with Charles Schue, CEO of UrsaNav. Friday, June 19, 2015 – Coast Guard unveils new additions to the loran navigation system at the Coast Guard station in Diamond Beach, which some thought would be scuttled due to rise in GPS, but instead it was reworked. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Frank LoBiondo gives a thumbs up to Charles Schue, CEO of UrsaNav after turning on the eLoran system. Friday, June 19, 2015 – Coast Guard unveils new additions to the loran navigation system at the Coast Guard station in Diamond Beach, which some thought would be scuttled due to rise in GPS, but instead it was reworked. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

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Exelis, UrsaNav, DHS & US Coast Guard Enter Trial PNT Agreement

May 22, 2015 -
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Exelis, UrsaNav, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard enter agreement to trial ground-based position, navigation and timing signal

Contact: Leah Lackey
Phone: 703.668.6234
Email: leah.lackey@exelisinc.com

 

HERNDON, Va., May 22, 2015 – 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.

About UsaNav:

UrsaNav, Inc. is a Veteran-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business focused on delivering innovative engineering and information solutions, and associated professional services to government and commercial clients worldwide. UrsaNav is the World’s leading supplier of eLORAN technology, equipment, and services with deep experience in the design, development, and deployment of PNT systems. For more information, visit our website at www.ursanav.com.

About Exelis:

Exelis is a diversified, top-tier global aerospace, defense, information and services company that leverages a greater than 50-year legacy of deep customer knowledge and technical expertise to deliver affordable, mission-critical solutions for global customers. Exelis is a leader in positioning and navigation, sensors, air traffic management solutions, image processing and distribution, communications and information systems; and focused on strategic growth in the areas of critical networks, ISR and analytics, electronic warfare and composite aerostructures. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Exelis employs approximately 10,000 people and generated 2014 sales of approximately $3.3 billion. For more information, visit our website at www.exelisinc.comor connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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UrsaNav Attends Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation Annual Meeting and Dinner

April 10, 2015 -
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President and CEO Charles Schue attended the recent Resilient Navigation and Timing (RNT) Foundation annual meeting and dinner held at the Metropolitan Club in Washington, DC. Charles and other UrsaNav personnel including Steve Bartlett joined Google’s Vint Cerf, Department of Defense CIO Terry Halvorsen, and thought leaders from industry and government to exchange ideas and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the Metropolitan Club. Former FAA administrator Langhorne Bond graciously hosted the event which was focused on highlighting the lack of resiliency in our Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) infrastructure and discussing potential solutions to the problem.

Terry Speaker

Terry Speaker, Department of Defense CIO

Vint Cerf & Charles Schue

Vint Cerf & Charles Schue

The highlight of the evening was a thought provoking discussion led by Vint Cerf who is Chief Internet Evangelist at Google and is more widely known (along with Bob Kahn) as one of the main inventors of TCP/IP, which is the underlying technology that made the internet possible. While Vint started his discussion with the acknowledgment that he is not a PNT guru, he quickly started a thought provoking debate on the need for resilient PNT and the possible business models and funding streams that could potentially make the US and the world a much safer place.

The evening wrapped up with a call from RNT foundation president Dana Goward to “Be Heard” by letting your local congressional representative and Senator know that you’re concerned about this issue. Dana also asked all attendees to spread the word about this critical vulnerability and to reply to the current Department of Transportation (DOT) request for comment on eLoran.

UrsaNav is a premium founding member of the RNT Foundation at the Harrison Society level as well as a leading industry advocate. Learn more about our support of RNT.

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