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Cyber threats prompt return of radio for ship navigation.

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by EA1BDF, Aug 10, 2017.

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  1. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Loran signals are also quite easy to jam. It only takes somewhat larger transmitters than GPS...

    In the late 50's, the Swedish Air Force built a top-secret large-scale jamming network aimed at the Soviet Loran-C clone Chayka.

    The underlying principle was "spoofing", by retransmitting received pulses from the Soviet transmitters, the strategic bombers would be lead astray. Fully implemented, the network had 10 32 kW pulse transmitters placed so that major bombing runs could be interfered with.

    Maintenance and operational costs led to the decommissioning and dismantling of the system in the early 90's.

    KK5R likes this.
  2. VK2GWK

    VK2GWK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  3. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Precisely. I think that there's a bunch of guys with erect antennas for Loran and they are just looking for an excuse to keep them. If North Korea is causing trouble then that gives them an excuse to grab... grab the excuse, not the antennas, but they'll probably do that too.

    There's better ways to solve this. In thinking about this some more a land based radio system might still make sense but it's going to have to be substantially different than Loran. What might be needed is just a new look at existing VORTAC beacons. It seems the concern is for precise location to avoid running into ships and navigation hazards. That doesn't seem like much of a problem on the open sea. Have ships carry VOR receivers and they'll get location information within 50 miles or more from the coast. More users of those VORTAC systems would discourage more closures.
  4. KD6VXI

    KD6VXI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Iran has been able to down flying machines by jamming GPS, it's been postulated. Meaning, Russia, USA, China and almost every other modern army can as well.

    China has demonstrated they an kill pretty much any satellite at will. Which may mean almost any modern army can as well.

    Taking a satellite system out (by laser or other non aeronautical device) can be denied, as can (for a time) jamming. Flying a missile into a 100 to 1000 foot tower and building, not so much.

    IMHO, this is giving us a backup nav system that will work and doesn't fall under the plausible deniability arena.

    I'd rather see our HF Shipping Shortwave stations come back. Those can be used for nav as well as comms.

    AK7ER likes this.
  5. W4HM

    W4HM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I spent allot of time in the U.S. Coast Guard underway in the 1970's and 1980's and the Quarter Master did all of the navigating the old fashion manual way, with LORAN as back up. But while I was in two U.S. Coast Guard cutters the Blackthorn (1980) and Cuyahoga (1978) collided with commercial ships and sank with all hands lost.

    I had spent (TAD) temporary assigned duty on both before they sank.
  6. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I liked the celestial tracking system that the Apollo missions used. I'm sure that there are terrestrial versions of the same thing, but I haven't seen any. Seems like it would be difficult to jam the constellations of stars at night.
  7. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not quite.

    All Loran locations are, by necessity, widely known.
    Flying a missile into one of these stations is trivial. They don't move, and they CANNOT move. They transmit an uninterrupted RF signal of immense power to lock onto. Are on the ground, and did I mention they don't move? No one needs a missile, a World War I era cannon and a few shells is enough. Get one within 8 miles or so and your Loran tower is gone.

    If we are talking about protecting these from a "modern" military and we're talking about someone with liquid fuel ballistic missile capable of launching satellites. What's easier to hit? A satellite orbiting at 12,000 miles and moving about 5 miles per second or a stationary ground based facility?

    I'm pretty sure the US DOD started the Navstar program precisely because they thought ground based beacons were too easy to strike.
    N0TZU likes this.
  8. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    There's an app for that!

    That's a $35 app for a device that one could probably get for as little as $100 used, a new one for $500. I'm sure a USCG approved version would be more complex, more expensive, and more accurate. Add inertial navigation, and a radio to get accurate time updates, and I think the problem is solved... except for those guys with the erected antennas they can't seem to let go of.
    KK5JY likes this.
  9. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Buzzword Bingo! You win! The cyberz and teh intarwebs today!
    W1YW and AC0GT like this.
  10. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good points. But I thought the rationale for eLoran was as a backup to GPS if it were hacked. Hacking or other electronic disruption of GPS could be part of a campaign of cheap asymmetric warfare that could nevertheless cause significant problems for us without a missile being launched.

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