Boom Goes LORAN

The Coast Guard is making sure that its LORAN stations will never serve as a <a href=http://whatsbrewin.nextgov.com/2010/04/gps_backup_what_gps_backup.php>backup</a> to GPS. Yes, it's simply closing some. But in the case of the <a href=http://www.uscg.mil/d17/loranportclarence/area.asp>facility at Port Clarence, Alaska</a>, the Guard decided to literally blow up the tower, the Associated Press <a href=http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jaCny8J9TJJUHh8Y4dEyxzXV3X3AD9FD4HKG0>reported</a>.

The Coast Guard is making sure that its LORAN stations will never serve as a backup to GPS. Yes, it's simply closing some. But in the case of the facility at Port Clarence, Alaska, the Guard decided to literally blow up the tower, the Associated Press reported.

The Port Clarence LORAN station, about 70 miles northwest of Nome and 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, had a 1,350-foot tower -- 100 feet taller than the Empire State building -- and the Coast Guard said it blew it up on Thursday because they believed it would collapse soon.

I think that also is a good excuse to ensure that LORAN, which for some reason the Coast Guard hates, is never used as an alternative to GPS in case it fails for some reason. At the moment, there is no such backup.

I learned 40 years ago as a Marine radio operator that all systems sooner or later don't work, and you better have a backup. Evidently that maxim does not apply to GPS.

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