Backup to GPS once LORAN is gone
So some senators are whining over the loss of LORAN since they claim there will no longer be a backup to GPS.
- Radio direction finders (used by the Japanese to
home in on Honolulu during the Pearl Harbor attack);
- Good ol' dead reconing;
- Emergency radios (just call the Coast Guard, for crying out loud, if your GPS goes out and you get lost.) The cost of the Coast Guard coming out to get you and anyone else whose GPS receiver goes out has got to be less than maintaining the LORAN transmitters;
- The sextant (how quaint!): Every mariner who is going to go out beyond the sight of land should have one.
But to maintain a system that costs $36M a year places the burden of providing a backup to GPS on the backs of the government rather than on the backs of those who consume the service. Why should the government continue to subsidize them?
Besides, certain senarios that would take out GPS will also take out LORAN. A prudent mariner should have a low tech way of finding his or her way back home when that happens.