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Milestone-Proposal:LORAN

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A BRIEF HISTORY
 
A BRIEF HISTORY
 
The name loran is derived from long-range navigation, a name given by Lawrence M. Harding, a career officer of the United  States Coast Guard (USGC). Harding is one of the loran pioneers we should not forget.  Beginning in 1943, USCG played a key role in getting some twenty-five loran transmitter stations up and running in the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific.  Pierce gives credit to the USCG for loran stations in Iwo Jima and Okinawa,  erected "upon the heels of the invading forces". Other loran stations in the Pacific guided the air force in its bombing campaign.  Until quite recently,  USGC crews have been manning loran stations in this part of the world for over 60 years.  The United States loran system was replaced by GPS and shut-down on 8 February 2010. The nominator witnessed this great event on Nantucket, planting the seed for this milestone proposal.
 
The name loran is derived from long-range navigation, a name given by Lawrence M. Harding, a career officer of the United  States Coast Guard (USGC). Harding is one of the loran pioneers we should not forget.  Beginning in 1943, USCG played a key role in getting some twenty-five loran transmitter stations up and running in the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific.  Pierce gives credit to the USCG for loran stations in Iwo Jima and Okinawa,  erected "upon the heels of the invading forces". Other loran stations in the Pacific guided the air force in its bombing campaign.  Until quite recently,  USGC crews have been manning loran stations in this part of the world for over 60 years.  The United States loran system was replaced by GPS and shut-down on 8 February 2010. The nominator witnessed this great event on Nantucket, planting the seed for this milestone proposal.
 
 
Melville Eastman of the Microwave Committee:  First  leader of a small group organized under the newly formed Radiation Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This group was responsible for developing a new radio navigation system. CEO and founder of General Radio Corporation of Cambridge, Eastman had taken a leave of absence from his company to work on the project from 1941 to 1943.
 
Melville Eastman of the Microwave Committee:  First  leader of a small group organized under the newly formed Radiation Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This group was responsible for developing a new radio navigation system. CEO and founder of General Radio Corporation of Cambridge, Eastman had taken a leave of absence from his company to work on the project from 1941 to 1943.
 
JA (Jack) Pierce,  a senior research fellow at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA joined the team in 1941.  He would later receive the Medal For Engineering Excellence in 1990 for the design , teaching and advocacy of radio propagation, navigation and timing which led to the development of Loran,  Loran C and other systems. He also received the 1948 Presidential Certificate of Merit and the 1953 Morris Liebmann Prize of the Institute of Radio Engineers.
 
JA (Jack) Pierce,  a senior research fellow at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA joined the team in 1941.  He would later receive the Medal For Engineering Excellence in 1990 for the design , teaching and advocacy of radio propagation, navigation and timing which led to the development of Loran,  Loran C and other systems. He also received the 1948 Presidential Certificate of Merit and the 1953 Morris Liebmann Prize of the Institute of Radio Engineers.
 
Pierce,  Eastman and a small group of radio experts soon began testing the United States' first hyperbolic radio aid to navigation, investigating  radio frequencies, wave patterns, propagation, reflection, and so on. The trials, scientific investigations, all are better described in the References provided here, especially the IRE article by  JA Pierce.  
 
Pierce,  Eastman and a small group of radio experts soon began testing the United States' first hyperbolic radio aid to navigation, investigating  radio frequencies, wave patterns, propagation, reflection, and so on. The trials, scientific investigations, all are better described in the References provided here, especially the IRE article by  JA Pierce.  
 
 
MIT Rad Lab personnel built the first few experimental transmitters in their shop.  The same team members later to get early loran stations for the North Atlantic Chain erected ond on the air.  in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador and Greenland. and  supervised their installation of  (Station 1 through 4) tbv of the first few loran stations and erected  
 
MIT Rad Lab personnel built the first few experimental transmitters in their shop.  The same team members later to get early loran stations for the North Atlantic Chain erected ond on the air.  in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador and Greenland. and  supervised their installation of  (Station 1 through 4) tbv of the first few loran stations and erected  
 
 
Rad Lab was able to step after loran was running on a firm foundation.
 
Rad Lab was able to step after loran was running on a firm foundation.
 
 
 
Rad Lab's  project involvement terminated when loran was on a solid foundation..  
 
Rad Lab's  project involvement terminated when loran was on a solid foundation..  
 
Jack Pierce's epic article published by the IEEE in 1946 is the prime source for the information here.  
 
Jack Pierce's epic article published by the IEEE in 1946 is the prime source for the information here.  
 
 
THE LORAN PROJECT WAS A GREAT ELECTRICAL  ENGINEERING ACCOMPLISHMENT.  
 
THE LORAN PROJECT WAS A GREAT ELECTRICAL  ENGINEERING ACCOMPLISHMENT.  
 
Pierce, who was intimately involved with the project from the very beginning,  had this to say about loran:
 
Pierce, who was intimately involved with the project from the very beginning,  had this to say about loran:
 
 
“In less than 5 years, loran, the American embodiment of a new method of navigation, has grown from a concept into service used by tens of thousands of navigators over three tenths of the surface of the earth. Even under the stress of military urgency, the direct cost of this system has been less than two percent of the seventy-five million dollars so far spent for operational equipment. ” JA Pierce 1946.
 
“In less than 5 years, loran, the American embodiment of a new method of navigation, has grown from a concept into service used by tens of thousands of navigators over three tenths of the surface of the earth. Even under the stress of military urgency, the direct cost of this system has been less than two percent of the seventy-five million dollars so far spent for operational equipment. ” JA Pierce 1946.
 
“With the realization that an effective new aid to navigation had come into being, a Naval Training School for station operators, shipboard navigators was set up (Boston or Cambridge) and turned over by the Radiation Laboratory to the Coast Guard and the Canadian Navy. The three northern stations came into operation in the spring of 1943, and were also turned over to the Coast Guard after operation had become routine. The Bureau of Ships began to take over the procurement of ground-station equipment, while the Army Air Forces were contracting for the development of an  
 
“With the realization that an effective new aid to navigation had come into being, a Naval Training School for station operators, shipboard navigators was set up (Boston or Cambridge) and turned over by the Radiation Laboratory to the Coast Guard and the Canadian Navy. The three northern stations came into operation in the spring of 1943, and were also turned over to the Coast Guard after operation had become routine. The Bureau of Ships began to take over the procurement of ground-station equipment, while the Army Air Forces were contracting for the development of an  
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Website entitled LORAN A  
 
Website entitled LORAN A  
 
http://www.jproc.ca/hyperbolic/loran_a.html
 
http://www.jproc.ca/hyperbolic/loran_a.html
 
 
 
NOTE
 
NOTE
 
" In mid-1942, R. J. Dippy, who had invented the Gee system, was sent to the USA for eight months to assist in Loran development. Many of the techniques used in Gee were adopted, and it was he who insisted that the Loran and Gee receivers were made physically interchangeable so that any RAF or USAAF aircraft fitted for one could use the other by simply swapping units. This was still to prove valuable, long after the war had finished, for Transport Command navigators flying the Australia run from the UK who could plug in the appropriate set depending on where they were. He also designed the ground station timing and synchronization equipment and his assistance speeded up Loran development considerably.  Once design had been finalized, production went ahead rapidly. The first Loran-A pair was on the air permanently by June 1942 (Montauk Point, NY, and Fenwick Is, Del.), and by October there were additional stations along the Canadian east coast. The system became operational in early 1943, and late that year stations were established in Greenland, Iceland, the Faeroes and the Hebrides to complete the North Atlantic cover, some being operated by the Royal Navy. At the request of the RAF, another station was put into the Shetlands to cover Norway, and Loran was eventually used by over 450 aircraft of Coastal Command.
 
" In mid-1942, R. J. Dippy, who had invented the Gee system, was sent to the USA for eight months to assist in Loran development. Many of the techniques used in Gee were adopted, and it was he who insisted that the Loran and Gee receivers were made physically interchangeable so that any RAF or USAAF aircraft fitted for one could use the other by simply swapping units. This was still to prove valuable, long after the war had finished, for Transport Command navigators flying the Australia run from the UK who could plug in the appropriate set depending on where they were. He also designed the ground station timing and synchronization equipment and his assistance speeded up Loran development considerably.  Once design had been finalized, production went ahead rapidly. The first Loran-A pair was on the air permanently by June 1942 (Montauk Point, NY, and Fenwick Is, Del.), and by October there were additional stations along the Canadian east coast. The system became operational in early 1943, and late that year stations were established in Greenland, Iceland, the Faeroes and the Hebrides to complete the North Atlantic cover, some being operated by the Royal Navy. At the request of the RAF, another station was put into the Shetlands to cover Norway, and Loran was eventually used by over 450 aircraft of Coastal Command.
 
 
" But it was in the Pacific that Loran made its greatest direct contribution to winning the war. Distances in the Pacific Ocean are enormous. As American forces moved westward, air fields were built on many of the small islands and atolls that dot the ocean beyond Hawaii. The limited range of many World War II aircraft demanded that they frequently land and refuel. Navigation by celestial observations is possible only when weather permits and, moreover, it requires a highly trained man who does little on the plane except navigate. Because of the lengthy training required, celestial navigators, particularly on Army Air Corps planes, were extremely scarce. Thus it was that loran provided the easy-to-use, accurate navigational system required to and the air fields so necessary for refueling.
 
" But it was in the Pacific that Loran made its greatest direct contribution to winning the war. Distances in the Pacific Ocean are enormous. As American forces moved westward, air fields were built on many of the small islands and atolls that dot the ocean beyond Hawaii. The limited range of many World War II aircraft demanded that they frequently land and refuel. Navigation by celestial observations is possible only when weather permits and, moreover, it requires a highly trained man who does little on the plane except navigate. Because of the lengthy training required, celestial navigators, particularly on Army Air Corps planes, were extremely scarce. Thus it was that loran provided the easy-to-use, accurate navigational system required to and the air fields so necessary for refueling.
 
The intensive bombing of Japan began as soon as air bases could be secured near enough for aircraft to make the round  trip. Accurate navigation was necessary not only for precision bombing, but also for carrying a maximum bomb load instead of a large reserve of gasoline. The loran system provided the means for this accurate navigation. By the end of World War II there were 75 standard loran stations serving the needs of aircraft and vessels in operation with over 75,000 receivers in use. Coverage in the Japanese and East China Sea Areas was extended in the 1950's
 
The intensive bombing of Japan began as soon as air bases could be secured near enough for aircraft to make the round  trip. Accurate navigation was necessary not only for precision bombing, but also for carrying a maximum bomb load instead of a large reserve of gasoline. The loran system provided the means for this accurate navigation. By the end of World War II there were 75 standard loran stations serving the needs of aircraft and vessels in operation with over 75,000 receivers in use. Coverage in the Japanese and East China Sea Areas was extended in the 1950's

Revision as of 22:42, 10 December 2010

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Pierce Loran.pdf
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