Last year I began my message by commenting on the proliferation of autonomous marine systems. That proliferation has continued apace. To date they have been mostly small craft pre-programmed for scientific research but aspirations are growing and so is the size of vessels intended to be remotely controlled or, indeed, autonomous. IAIN is engaging in this area, most specifically by supporting the UK Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS) Regulatory Working Group to evolve a regulatory framework that will enable developers to plan their projects so as to be compliant with those regulations.
Despite activity in the US intended to encourage industry to develop a suitable non-space-based timing and positioning system to complement GNSS and the evident deliberate and significant interference to GNSS signals in some parts of the world, there does not yet seem to be a commercially viable system available for consideration. With the advent of more, and larger, MAS the necessity for a reliable timing and navigation backup to space-based positioning is evermore starkly obvious. The only system presently developed enough that it could deliver a solution to this requirement is e-LORAN. For the users, the elegant way to encompass eLORAN would be to develop a multi-system receiver capable of processing signals from some or all of the major GNSS (GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS, COMPASS) and the Regional Navigation Satellite Systems (QZSS, IRNS (or NAVIC)) and eLORAN, for they all use similar correlation techniques and they are each suitable for land, sea and air platforms.
We wish a happy, successful and safe New Year to all our Members and readers.
(Japan Institute of Navigation)