President Signs Law Requiring Demo of GPS Backup System

An Article from Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation President Signs Law Requiring Demo of GPS Backup System

Article is from Dec 13th.

Yesterday the President signed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018. This Act, now law, includes a requirement for the Secretaries of Defense, Transportation and Homeland Security to complete a demonstration of a GPS backup capability in the next 18 months.


16 years and nothing’s been done. With DOD and Congress involved, the whole thing is likely to end up as another boondoggle at the bottom of a stinking pork barrel. How about backing GPS with paper charts and #2 pencils. No batteries required.

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Bring back RDF?

As captain my role with regards to navigation is mostly supervisory, when I do take the conn it’s mostly eyeball.

Having said that I do think that, for me at least, using ECDIS is a significant gain in situational awareness.

I really notice the difference working with ECDIS and then doing a relief job without. Without, after a bit you get used to having to make greater effort for less gain and settle for a less complete picture. For example approaching a crowed anchorage with ECDIS I can quickly pick out a good spot, without I could of course get a fix then take a bearing and range to the anchored ships and plot each one, but it’s not worth the time and effort. Better to watch ahead than bent over the chart table that long.

As far as the mates go, I require plotting manual fixes (from the radar) on the ECIDS so the argument that there is no cross-check to the GPS is not valid. In fact it was worse with paper charts because 99% of the time the mates were just plotting GPS fixes on the paper chart anyway.

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OK for approaches but not much range.

Looks like they will dust off eLoran again, it was successfully trialled in Europe but switched off in 2015.

Believe the US East Coast was also used to test the system.

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