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Milestone-Proposal:LORAN

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{{ProposalEdit|a1=LORAN|a2a=Cambridge MA|a2b=Boston Section|a3=1940 to 1946|a4=What exactly is proposed? Not for any one single invention but for the design, development, building and launching a near global radio navigation system in the 1940s that helped turn the course of the war in Europe and in the Pacific. Within a matter of years, a complex radio navigation system called loran went on the air to create e a network for ship- borne navigators to find their way across the North Atlantic. In the same manner, the radio navigation system built to provide coverage in the Pacific Ocean. Loran was a totally new American system of navigation pressed into service during the 1940s used by thousands of navigators over three-tenths of te surface of the earth (1946).  
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{{Proposal
This illustrates the coverage provided by loran in 1946:
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|docketid=2010-10
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|a11=No
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|a3=1940 to 1946
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|a1=LORAN
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|a2b=Boston Section
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|IEEE units paying={{IEEE Organizational Unit Paying
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|Unit=Boston Section
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|Senior officer name=Robert Alongi
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|Senior officer email=sec.boston@ieee.org
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}}
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|IEEE units arranging={{IEEE Organizational Unit Arranging
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|Unit=Boston Section
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|Senior officer name=Robert Alongi
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|Senior officer email=sec.boston@ieee.org
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}}
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|IEEE sections monitoring={{IEEE Section Monitoring
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|Section=Boston Section
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|Section chair name=Bruce Hecht
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}}
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|Milestone proposers={{Milestone proposer
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|Proposer name=Gilmore Cooke
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|Proposer email=gilcooke@ieee.org
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}}
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|a2a=Cambridge MA
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|a7=The Hood building is not a suitable place for the proposed  IEEE plaque. Instead, the loran  milestone plaque could probably be mounted alongside the other IEEE milestone plaques at MIT Building N42, 211 Massachusetts Avenue. The Boston Milestone Committee will seek their approval from MIT and proceed accordingly.
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|a8=No
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|a9=The proposed plaque would be be wall-mounted outdoors,  probably attached to  MIT Building N42, alongside other plaques at 211 Massachusetts Avenue.  The plaque would be readily visible to pedestrians walking on this public sidewalk.
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|a10=MIT
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|a4=Radiation Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
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In October 1940, MIT was chosen for the site of an independent laboratory that would be staffed by civilian and academic scientists from every discipline. Fourteen months before the U.S. entered World War II, MIT formed, under government contract, a newly Radiation Laboratory began its investigation of radio navigation and radar. The radio navigation division was housed separately from the radar group but was always referred to as Radiation Laboratory. The staff was housed in their own building in Cambridge. On 31 December 1945, the Radiation Laboratory was formally closed and staff members returned to their careers. It should be noted that in 1990, the IEEE Milestone was awarded to the Radiation Laboratory. That Milestone was awarded to the laboratory as a whole, not navigation.  
  
INSERT CHART 1946
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Our Proposal:
  
[[Loran 1.jpg .png]]
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The Boston Section wants to nominate the LORAN system of navigation for IEEE Milestone. Loran was a large engineered system, built from scratch and completed in the 1940s. Now, over sixty years later, every mariner in the world have used or know loran. The word stands for long-range navigation. Loran was a totally American system of navigation quickly developed during the Second World War. By 1946, loran was used by thousands of navigators over three-tenths of the surface of the earth. Loran is a hyperbolic system of navigation based on pulse-modulated synchronized signals. More details will be given elsewhere in this document.
  
The building of the North Atlantic Chain in 1942 - 1943:
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The proposal recognizes the many different organizations involved in building the loran system. Military personnel, scientists, engineers, fabricators, technicians, radio operators, all had roles in getting loran on the air. However, the proposed milestone nomination is limited to those activities carried by Rad Lab employees in the US or on assignments off shore. Plans, scientific research, tests, even a few of the early transmitters were fabricated in the shop in Cambridge. Radio technicians and navigators were trained here in Boston. After attending Loran School, they would return to their assigned transmitter station, ship, or aircraft. This is why members of the Boston Section of the IEEE wish to commemorate loran as IEEE Milestone.
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.
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See USGC website on the history ...
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The building of loran in the Pacific:
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Navigation Division and Key Individuals:
  
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.
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At its peak level of staffing, there were about 60 people in the radio navigation or loran division: scientists, academics, engineers, and technicians. Their job was research, design, plan, engineer, and develop a whole new system of navigation called loran – long-range navigation system.  For a short period of time, the staff had to operate and man the first two transmitting stations. Melville Eastman managed the division from 1941 to 1943. Eastman, CEO and founder of General Radio Corporation of Cambridge, was on leave from his company during that period. Donald G Fink replaced him on March 1943. Donald G Fink worked at the MIT Radiation Laboratory and traveled overseas installing loran sites. Fink had a long association with the Institute of Radio Engineers and was president of the IRE in 1958.  
  
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The chief researcher and scientist was JA (Jack) Pierce, a scientist fellow from Harvard University, Cambridge. He joined the team in 1941.  Later in his career, Pierce would receive the Medal For Engineering Excellence for the design, teaching and advocacy of radio propagation, navigation and timing. His work led to the development of Loran, Loran C and other systems.
  
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Monitoring the project and coordinating with superiors in Washington DC was Lawrence M. Harding, a senior officer in the United States Coast Guard (USCG). In 1942 he was transferred to Cambridge to coordinate with US Navy and government agencies. It was he who came up with the name LORAN derived from long-range navigation. Harding played an important role in surveys, logistics, equipment transportation, and building loran stations along the Atlantic coasts. By 1943, Harding and the Coast Guards were able get some twenty-five loran transmitter stations erected and running in the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific.
  
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The Significance of the Loran Project:
  
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Loran was a completely new American system of navigation, developed and quickly pressed into service during the war. By 1946, loran was used by thousands of navigators over three-tenths of the surface of the earth. Loran was and still is a hyperbolic system of navigation based on pulse-modulated synchronized signals. More details will be given elsewhere in this document.  
ADD WORDS ABOUT PLANES
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The milestone credits both the engineers, academics, and scientists associated with the MIT Radiation Laboratory, both  civilians and military persons assigned to the high frequency navigation .. Especially the USCG who played a major role throughout the initial operations of loran. There ... continued ever since...  Pierce stated
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“In the summer of 1943, the United Coast Guard made the first independent installation of  LORAN transmitting stations  in the Aleutian Island. The equipment in this case had been constructed in the Radiation Laboratory,  as Naval procurement had not yet come into effect. Since then, the Coast Guard has installed some twenty-five stations in the Pacific, climaxing its efforts with stations at Jima and Okinawa, which were erected closely on the heels of the invading forces. Of special significance in the Pacific warfare were stations in the Mariannas, which provided very effective guidance  for the 20th Air Force in its bombing of Japan.”
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“At the end of the war some seventy loran transmitting stations  were in operations providing nighttime service over 60 million square miles or three tenths of the earth’s surface”.  (see figure attached). “ Pierce
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“About 75,000 ship-borne and air-borne navigator’s receivers had been delivered by a number of manufactured. The Hydrographic Office, which had been preparing loran charts since the early days of naval use of the system, had shipped two-and-a-quarter million charts to various operating agencies. Pierce
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“The total cost of the loran research, development and procurement of the Radiation Laboratory….  Charges for R&D which produced the loran system can be assessed at no more than 2% of the investment in equipment….  Demonstrate that R&D can exists and be efficient under difficult conditions obtaining in wartime
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WHAT IS LORAN? Loran is a hyperbolic system of navigation by which difference in distance from two points on shore is determined by measurement of the time interval  between reception of pulse- modulated synchronized signals from transmitters at the two points.  Both ground waves and sky waves can be used to provide coverage over an extensive area with few stations, depending on design frequencies.  An important advantage of loran at the time of its development during  WW2, was that a ship could  use loran without breaking radio silence. Loran transmitting stations work in pairs. Synchronization is achieved by letting the signals of the master station, control those of the slave station. To help overcome the disadvantage of requiring two transmitting stations for a single family of hyperbolic  lines of positions, loran  forms a chain of stations, so that each station except the end ones operate with the station on either side to form an intersecting lattice of position lines. To find their way, loran navigators must have an radio receiver-indicator, a time piece, and  a set of loran nautical charts or loran tables. Standard loran was initially developed primarily for navigation over water.  It was also used for air-borne  navigation.
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DESCRIPTION
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Loran consist of three components: 1.  a chain of radio transmitters creating an electronic lattice or grid upon the surface of the earth.  2. a loran receiver-indicator, something like  an electronic timer with a cathode ray tube and  3. loran nautical and aeronautical charts or tables published, for example,  by the US Navy Hydrographic Office.
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A simple explanation of how a navigator used loran in the 1940s to determine his position or fix  follows next: first the  line of position was established by measuring the relative time of arrival of two pulses which were known to have left two separate transmitters at times differing by a known interval. The time difference was noted in microseconds. With this information, charts and compasses, the navigator could plot a series of points on a chart plotting a line of position. But hold on; no fix point yet. A loran network with only two stations cannot provide meaningful navigation information as the 2-dimensional position of the receiver cannot be fixed without additional information to find the fix position. He may use a second pair of loran stations to determine a new line of position.  Crossing of these two lines of position is the loran fix.  For those wanting more details on hyperbolic system of navigation, see Chapter X111 of  Bowditch's American Practical Navigator.
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Today's loran operates on one of several frequencies between1700 and 2000 kHz. It enjoys propagation characteristics determined primarily by soil conductivity and ionospheric conditions. Both ground wave and sky waves can be used to provide coverage over an  extensive area with few stations.  Usually. stations of a pairs are located 200 to 400 miles or more. At one time, several station pairs were separated by 1000 to 1400 miles apart.  Transmitters now in use radiate about 100kw and give a ground-wave range oversea water of about 700 nautical miles in the daytime. The day time range over land is seldom more than 250 miles even for high-flying aircraft and is scarcely 100miles at the surface of the earth. At night the ground-wave range oversea water is reduced to about 500 miles by the increase in atmospheric noise, but sky waves, which are almost completely absorbed by day,become effective and increase the reliable night range to about 1400miles. Generally, a number of stations are located so as to form a chain, with all but the end station in the group being double pulsing. In most parts of the world, signals  can be received from at least two pairs of stations  making it possible for a mariner to determine a fix using loran alone.
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A BRIEF HISTORY
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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Rad Lab was able to step away after loran was running on a solid foundation. By 1945 the Rad Lab program was terminated.
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Jack Pierce's epic article published by the IEEE in 1946 is the prime source for the information here.
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THE LORAN PROJECT WAS A GREAT ELECTRICAL  ENGINEERING ACCOMPLISHMENT. 
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Pierce
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Pierce, who was intimately involved with the project from the very beginning,  had this to say about loran:
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“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.
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“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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air-borne receiver-indicator.” JA Pierce.
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“In the summer of 1943, the United Coast Guard made the first independent installation of  LORAN transmitting stations  in the Aleutian Island. The equipment in this case had been constructed in the Radiation Laboratory,  as Naval procurement had not yet come into effect. Since then, the Coast Guard has installed some twenty-five stations in the Pacific, climaxing its efforts with stations at Jima and Okinawa, which were erected closely on the heels of the invading forces. Of special significance in the Pacific warfare were stations in the Mariannas, which provided very effective guidance  for the 20th Air Force in its bombing of Japan.”
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“At the end of the war some seventy loran transmitting stations  were in operations providing nighttime service over 60 million square miles or three tenths of the earth’s surface”.  (see figure attached). “ Pierce
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“About 75,000 ship-borne and air-borne navigator’s receivers had been delivered by a number of manufactured. The Hydrographic Office, which had been preparing loran charts since the early days of naval use of the system, had shipped two-and-a-quarter million charts to various operating agencies. Pierce
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“The total cost of the loran research, development and procurement of the Radiation Laboratory….  Charges for R&D which produced the loran system can be assessed at no more than 2% of the investment in equipment….  Demonstrate that R&D can exists and be efficient under difficult conditions obtaining in wartime…. Pierce
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The USCG gets much of the credit for LORAN's initial development and for its success by ensuring its safe and reliable service. Its very doubtful that are great engineered system can last very long without proper operation and maintenance. Therefore Loran's long term success can be attributed to USGC members like . .
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System Description
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Refer to Pierce article
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INSERT IMAGE HERE  showing the extent of coverage in 5 years of effort... 1946.
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LORAN first signal began transmissions during the summer 1941. New LORAN transmitting stations were added around the Atlantic coast throughout WW2 and the continental United States. The LORAN-C system became obsolete, replaced by GPS navigation system and the LORAN system was terminated in a special ceremony orchestrated by USGC Washington headquarters in 8 February 2010.theHow the LORAN project was initiated, organized and managed is very interested, if not note worthy.
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Rapid construction under extreme weather conditions. System operation by operators from different nations: US, Canada and Denmark. Collaborative effort. MIT Lab was initially responsible for the entire program, but under close hands-on direction of the USCG.  USGC's role increased.
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This was a completely successful American project, completed under trying time, progressing during wartime conditions without major false starts There was an exchange of radio engineering technology with the British GEE radio navigation but this is believed to have been minimal and had more to do with RAF bombers having the capability to accompanied  two different size of receivers in the cockpit.
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Most of the activities from the beginning to the end of the way in 1945, either took place or were managed out of Cambridge.
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) was to be a pulsed hyperbolic radio navigation system operating in the low end of the VHF spectrum, at about 30 MHz - very like Gee, which the Americans knew nothing about at the time. It eventually became the Loran-A system, out of which Loran-C was born. Loran-A operated in the 1850 to 1950 kHz band, used pulse-time difference as its operating principle and generally speaking had a day/night range of about 800 to 1600 nm depending on whose reference you read.
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LORAN Principle use
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BOSDWITCH pdf
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Principle
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Quote from extracted from
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Website entitled LORAN A
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http://www.jproc.ca/hyperbolic/loran_a.html
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NOTE
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" 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.
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" 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.
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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
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" The crews of Loran stations varied somewhat in size, depending on their locations. They have averaged about fifteen men. As the stations had to be entirely self-sufficient, they had cooks, hospital corpsmen, damage controlmen, and enginemen, in addition to the electronic technicians who operated and maintained the transmitters. Each station was commanded by a commissioned officer, usually a lieutenant (junior grade ), with a chief petty officer as second in command. Prospective commanding officers were given a short training course in Loran and administration before assignment. Command of a Loran station was almost invariably a young a Coast Guard officer's first independent assignment, and it provided an excellent opportunity for him to demonstrate his leadership qualities. Many young others dreaded Loran duty because of the isolation, but after it is over, nearly all of them felt it had been well worthwhile. At isolated stations, tours of duty were for one year. The great majority of Loran stations were supplied with fuel, bulky spare parts, and large staple items by a Coast Guard supply ship which called once or twice a year. Unless they were located near a large community, Loran stations received mail, personnel, fresh stores, and emergency spare parts by Coast Guard airplane. Most stations had their own airstrip."
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http://www.scribd.com/doc/35814242/MIT-Radiation-Lab-Series-V2-Radar-Aids-to-Navigation
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THE COAST GUARD AT WAR
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IV LORAN VOLUME II
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Prepared in the Historical Section Public Information Division U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Aug. 1, 1946
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http://www.uscg.mil/History/STATIONS/loran_volume_2.pdf
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REFERENCES USED
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JA Pierce, "An Introduction to Loran",  IEEE AES Magazine 1990 (attached)
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Bowditch, American Practical Navigator.U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office, 1958 pp. 333 - 343
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Other key information about Loran 'A' can be found at the Loran History web site.
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http://www.loran-history.info/
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Infomation on the history of Loran in Canada:
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Hyperbolic Radionavigation systems compiled by Jerry Proc VE3FAB
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http://www.loran-history.info/
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WEBSITES
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THE COAST GUARD AT WAR. IV LORAN VOLUME II
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Prepared in the Historical Section Public Information Division U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Aug. 1, 1946
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http://www.uscg.mil/History/STATIONS/loran_volume_2.pdf
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http://www.loran-history.info/
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http://www.uscg.mil/history/stations/loran_volume_1_index.asp
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Wikipedia, LORAN http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LORAN
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LORAN#History
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http:/ www.jproc.ca/hyperbolic/loran_a.html
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THE COAST GUARD AT WAR: IV 
LORAN 
VOLUME I
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http://www.uscg.mil/History/STATIONS/LORAN_Section_1.asp
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http://www.scribd.com/doc/35814242/MIT-Radiation-Lab-Series-V2-Radar-Aids-to-Navigation
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TO PROBE FURTHER
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Willoughy, Malcom Francis; The Story of LORAN in the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II, Arno Pro, 1980
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B.W. Sittelry, “ELEMENTS OFLORAN,” MIT Radiation Laboratoyr Re- port No. 499; March, 1944; also available as Navships 900, 027, Bureau of Ships, April 1944
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Bureau of Ships, “LORAN HANDBOOK FOR SHIPBOARD OPERATORS,” Ships 278; July. 1944
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Army Air Forces, “LORAN HANDBOOK FOR AIRCRAFT,” Air Forces Manual No. 37;published by training aids division, Officeof Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Training; September, 1944.
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Bureau of Ships, “LORAN TRANSMITTING STATION MANUAL,” Nav- ships 900,060A; March, 1945
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J.A. Pierce, “THE FUTURE OF HYPERBOLIC NAVIGATION.” MIT Radiation Laboratory Report No. 625; August 1945
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“THE LORAN SYSTEM,” Electronics, vol. 18, 00. 94-100, November, 1945;vol. 18, pp. 1IO- 116,December, 1945;and vol. 19,pp. 109-I 15,March, I946
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Alexander A. McKenzie, “LORAN-THE LATEST IN NAVIGATIONAL AIDS,” QST, Part I , vol. 29. pp. 12-16. December, 1945; part 2. vol. 30, pp. 54-57. January, 1946; part 3, vol. 30, pp, 62-65, February, 1946
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_|a5=Launch of Loran and the industrial buildout of a great hyperbolic navigation system that played a key role in the naval and air campaigns during 1943 to 1945. Once the war was ended, the loran system was so well founded that authorities found a way to modernize and keep it in place for nearly a half a century. 
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The extent of loran coverage available to navigators in 1946 is illustrated in Figure 1. The North Atlantic Chain was given first priority to allow ship convoys to find their way across treacherous waters. During wartime, Loran had the advantage of allowing ships to maintain radio silence.
Some historians overstate the contributions made by  RJ Dippy, inventor of the Gee system in England, while he worked in the US early in the 1940s.
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Allies were not going to launch the gee system; instead there was cooperation among British and US military to launch loran.
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The determination and sacrifice required get loran up and running on the air early in 1943 to help with naval convoys crossing the Atlantic with supplies to the UK and Russia (Allies) is well documented in the USCG .....
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Then soon following in tre Pacific, to engineer and develop, equip and supply, train radio techs , and get the radio navigation system called loran, on the air to help air-born ./ bombers navigate . .
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Both of these accomplishments are the same landmark project, executed one after the other within the first few years of the WW2. The nomination for IEEE milestone makes no claim for having conceived  has being the first to have conceptualize  the idea of finding your position within a network of lines ..
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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. The gee system (dippy)  operated on the same but ultra -high frequency principal.
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Engineering projects of this magnitude required money, technology, staff, and ...
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Pierce acknowledges the existance of the British gee system under development in the early 1940s. Gee operated on the same principal. He also acknowledges that "Loran copied gee's concepts rather than techniques and may be said to have been invented in America in the sense in which Galileo is said to have invented the telescope".
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The speed in which the loran system of navigation was researched, designed, developed, constructed, placed into operations, manned  24/7 by radio technicians at isolated regions of the globe, is hard to explain.  Even for a well-funded wartime crash program. Authors of this milestone proposal are not aware of anything similar to loran.
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The proposal covers the time period between 1940 to 1946, i.e. the very beginning of loran. That period  was especially awesome,  noteworthy.
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Offer the following websites can explain history ..history 
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No electrical engineering effort / program has ever been set up and organized with such lasting .. with such reach as this ..
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HOLD  There was nothing like loran. Loran transmitters  Loran was first to be of service.
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Pierce explains how the first air-borne and sea-borne trails had been so successful as to convince both the US Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy.The rest is history.
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By 1 October 1942 a chain of four loran transmitting stations in the US and Nova Scotia were on the air. Loran receivers began to be shipped and installed on selected naval vessels and a group of radio technicians were sent to training schools in Cambridge.
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45,000 air-borne Loran receivers-indicators  were manufactured and delivered by 1 August 1945. Improved models were being made available when the war came to an end.
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Loran was a  hugh  government sponsored  program. It was developed early in the 1940s in time to help air-borne navigators and ship  in wartime and completed in time to ...
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There is no equal to or competing electrical engineered system The loran project was an engineered systdem  was designed, builtof
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To what extent loran was born out of Gee's concepts is unresolved and academic.  Gee was also a pulse-modulated hyperbolic navigation system, similar to loran. Gee operated at lower frequencies and was limited to line-of-sight distances, of 400 miles or so. Gee was intended primarily for aircraft during WW2.
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Atlantic
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Although there were other hyperbolic air navigation system at the time, notably the British gee system, none designed nor available nor existed to aid the war effort.  he gee system was used in the UK.
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No other system existed or was available or ready during the 1940s to support the war effort. Convoys travelling the North Atlantic Atlantic  weresafe journey ...
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The extent to which Loran had been used t tis day.. evident by mariners and navigators with nautical charts.  Prevelence of nautical charts with Loran marks all over them..??
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The author is not aware of any stationary electrical system of such magnitude operating so reliably and globally. But this is just my own personal views...
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Early example of a critical war .. CRASH engineering project. Rapid development, large complex organizations( equipment fabrication, procurement, construction... groups
+
Global, air and shipsTime was critically important, getting the radio navigation grid up and running
+
fast track electronic / radio navigation system
+
Construction, O&M and dedicated persons / Hers
+
How the early system evolved:
+
Station #1,2,3 and 4
+
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.
+
a pulsed hyperbolic radio navigation system operating in the low end of the VHF spectrum, at about 30 MHz - very like Gee, which the Americans knew nothing about at the time. It eventually became the Loran-A system, out of which Loran-C was born. Loran-A operated in the 1850 to 1950 kHz band, used pulse-time difference as its operating principle and generally speaking had a day/night range of about 800 to 1600 nm depending on whose reference you read.
+
for two years (c 1941-1943) he was on leave of absence from his company to the Radiation Laboratory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology for this work.When these projects finally reached fruition and combat equipment based on them reached the battlefronts, he returned to the General Radio Company and resumed the active direction of the engineering staff.
+
General Radio Corp sponsored radio techs
+
Divison 11 “Navigation Group” 1941 -  1943 by Melville Eastman. Eastman replaced by Donald G Fink  March 1943.
+
Lt. Cdmr. Harding would be an acceptable officer, Captain Harding received orders to report to the Chief of naval Operations on 25 May 1942 and was the immediately ordered to temporary duty in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the first week in June.
+
John (Jack) A. Pierce, who retired from a position as a senior research fellow at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. was awarded 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 Omega." In 1941, Pierce began working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Radiation Laboratory which was testing the United States' first hyperbolic radio aid to navigation called Loran. It inaugurated in October 1942. Later work produced Loran C which operated at a lower frequency of 100 kHz. After WWII, he was appointed senior research fellow in applied physics at Harvard and from 1950 to 1974 did work on low frequency navigation aids that lead to Omega.
+
  
Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. L.M. Harding|a6=engineering for 99% reliability & maintenance issues
+
[[Image:Loran1.jpg .png‎|center]]
Quote Pierce
+
Having to locate loran transmitters (North Atlantic Chain) in remote wilderness areas was a big problem. Getting supplies to isolated stations, crews, MIT
+
Cooperation with foreign countries was required to build stations in Labrador, Newfoundland, Greenland and Iceland.
+
As the program matured, the Rad Lab was able to step back and let more capable organizations, such as  the USCG, take over site construction and system operations.  By 1948, the Rad Lab had completed its mission.
+
Radiation Lab and Coast Guard  &&&  personnel Defficulties of supplying the LORAN crews
+
Loran stations in Greenland, Newfoundland, and Labrador especially hard. Getting these loran stations built, staffed, and supplied was especially trying.  To get an idea as to geography, and the conditions faced by Rad Lab, Coast Guard and military personnel responsible for getting the North Atlantic Loran System , look at
+
SECTION II
+
THE NORTH ATLANTIC LORAN SYSTEM
+
CHAPTER 1
+
Site survey for Bona Vista and Battle Harbor - Results of USS MANASQUAN tests - Navy proposes seven-unit chain for North Atlantic - Preliminary training program - Boccaro and Deming under construction - Siting of #5, #6, and #7 - Equipment procurement difficulties begin.
+
CHAPTER 2
+
Construction at Bona Vista.
+
CHAPTER 3
+
Construction at Battle Harbor.
+
CHAPTER 4
+
Construction at Greenland.
+
Construction in remote areas
+
Need for international cooperation - between Canada, Denmark.
+
Lack of qualified radio operators. Training . .
+
It was imperative for the war effort to protect / guide  military planes and convoys across the barren northern waters, that LORAN system of radio navigation be in service quickly and reliably. One system design was complete, LORAN radio stations had to be erected. Then radio technicians and operators had to be selected and trained on how to work the new transmitters and receivers. 
+
USCG
+
Captain L. M. Harding
+
Captain Harding took up temporary duty at the Radiation laboratory, Cambridge, Mass on 3 June 1942.
+
Captain Harding and Mr. Eastham pressed plans for practical trials and shakedown to evaluate the developments quickly.
+
it was planned that the two already practically established experimental station at Fenwick and Montauk, would be Units #1 and #2 respectively, and that Units #3 and #4 would be located along the Coast of Nova Scotia, at sites tentatively selected and agreed upon between U.S. Navy (Capt. Harding), Royal Canadian Navy (Commander Worth) and Radiation Laboratory (Mr. Eastham).
+
Captain Harding therefore arranged for observations and tests to be made from a Navy blimp, during June, and more important, he arranged to have receiving equipment installed on a Coast Guard weather ship, the USS MANASQUAN, so that an adequate navigational test might be made.
+
Davidson and Duvall, the latter a recent addition to the Laboratory staff and an ex-Naval officer and navigator, were assigned to conduct tests on the USS MANASQUAN, which continued for one month, from June to July of 1942.
+
long range navigation by pulse radiation was a practical possibility, but Mr. Duvall's records would give an indication as to the line that future development for such navigation would follow.
+
At about this time, Captain Harding coined the word "Loran" as a convenient designator for the project, deriving the word from "long range radio navigation". This was accepted by both the Navy and Radiation Laboratory.
+
middle of June 1942 and ground was broken at Boccaro on 19 June and at Deming on 27 June. One shipment of supplies had been held up awhile through the refusal of a local Canadian freight agent to honor a USN bill of lading for necessary supplies the U.S. Navy had furnished. The contractor employed, had to, in effect, bail out his supplies by guaranteeing the freight charges.
+
OPS TRAINING
+
so in June 1942 several men were selected to train in operation and maintenance at the Radiation laboratory, and also at the two stations in operation at Fenwick and Montauk.
+
the Laboratory requested Captain Harding to obtain personnel either from the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Coast Guard to man the proposed Greenland station, and also eventually to man the units at Fenwick and Montauk.
+
Commander MacMillan, USCR, Captain Harding, USCG, and Dan Fink of the Radiation laboratory departed Quonset, R.I. in a U.S. Naval seaplane, 15 July 1942, they stopped briefly at Shediac, New Brunswick to pick up Dr. Waldschmitt and Lt. Comdr. Argyle, RCNR,
+
Future events in the construction of these two stations proved Captain Harding warnings only a mild forecast of actual happenings.
+
Upon his return to Cambridge, Captain Harding found the results of the tests made on the USS MANASQUAN which had been completed 17 July awaiting him. These tests which were primarily to determine the service range of the Loran system, showed most satisfactory results. The ground waves were efficient up to 680 miles in the daytime when the reflecting Heaviside layer was affected by the sun, and were effective up to 1,300 miles at night when the Heaviside layer was reflecting the sky waves to earth.
+
The Radiation Laboratory, however, was encountering increasing difficulties in supplying adequate operating and maintenance personnel for the two original units at Fenwick and Montauk.
+
The Laboratory's predicament is not difficult to comprehend in the light of a few basic facts. While the staff of the Radiation Laboratory was undoubtedly composed of brilliant scientists, very few had any practical experience in the operation and maintenance of a transmitting station. The ranks of available, competent radio operators and maintenance technicians were meanwhile thinning swiftly as increasing numbers of civilians entered the armed forces.
+
Each day, more and more of the problem of procuring supplies, materiel and personnel was shifted from the Radiation laboratory onto the Navy and the Coast Guard. There was also the problem of equipment production.
+
Had to be designed and deployed in secret during WW2 with the participation of Canada and Britain. The first series of LORAN stations were installed along the north Atlantic coast in Canada in Greenland. Stations
+
were located in very remote  location subject to very harsh climates. A large number of radio operators and technicians from the USCG and foreign countries had t be trained.
+
By July of 1943 also two other projects long recommended by Captain Harding began to take definite shape and proportions. The report of Lt. Cowie Acting NLOL for June 31 states;
+
"Development of technique and equipment for providing day-time service equal in radius to night-time service by use of a single high frequency...status: investigation of E-layer day-time transmission of high frequency has been completed and the use of a frequency of approximately 10.5 mcs. authorized. It is the opinion of Radiation Laboratory that this frequency will give a satisfactory day-time range of service from 800 to 1,300 miles although it is expected that the 10.5 mcs. signals will be some what weaker that 2 mc. signals. A program to obtain and modify transmitters and start a service test on this frequency will be started in the near future."
+
  
The experiments that had been in progress for some time in the Laboratory to develop an automatic synchronizer seemed also to begin bearing fruit as about this time one was developed which did not deviate nor lose control through high noise levels including electrical storms. Four of these units were being built by the laboratory and by July so confident were they of the worth of the auto-sync that the Laboratory placed an order for sixty of these units based on their prototype to be delivered around the end of 1943.|a7=It should be noted at this time, that the radio navigation Loran project, aka Project 3 or Project C in  the historical literature,  was not carried out at the iconic "Radiation Laboratory"  building home of radar / microwave innovations. Instead, the project engineering team worked in the Hood Building in Cambridge, close to but off  the MIT campus.  Further research will be carried out to locate this building. Rad Lab was awarded an IEEE Milestone  ..........
+
The North Atlantic:
The proposed milestone plaque could be mounted on MIT Building N42, on Massachusetts Avenue, close to where the original Hood Building used to be. The Boston Section Milestone Committee is currently seeking approval from MIT to carry this out
+
Boston Section Milestone History  Committee is currently seeking approval from MIT to carry this out.
+
  
LORAN operators were trained somewhere in Boston. Transmitters and receivers were fabricated by large manufacturers located elsewhere.|a8=No|a9=The proposed plaque would be be wall-mounted outdoors, probably attached to  MIT Building N42, alongside other plaques at 211 Massachusetts Avenue. The plaque would be readily visible to pedestrians walking on this public sidewalk. The Boston Section Milestone Committee is currently seeking approval from MIT to carry this out|a10=MIT|a11=No|a12=The Boston Section with support from local  Society Chapters, and financial contributions from sponsors.|a13name=Bruce Hecht|a13section=Boston|a13position=2010 Chair|a13email=Bruce Hecht|a14name=Robert Alongi|a14ou=Boston Section|a14position=Section Business Manager|a14email=sec.boston@ieee.org|a15Aname=Gilmore Cooke|a15Aemail=gilcooke@ieee.org|a15Aname2=|a15Aemail2=|a15Bname=c/o Robert Alongi|a15Bemail=sec.boston@ieee.org|a15Bname2=To be assigned later|a15Bemail2=|a15Cname=Gilmore Cooke|a15Ctitle=retired PE|a15Corg=Boston Section Executive Committee|a15Caddress=8 Canvasback, W. Yarmouth, MA 02673|a15Cphone=617-759-4271|a15Cemail=gilcooke@ieee.org}}<br>[[Media:Pierce_Loran.pdf|Pierce Loran.pdf]]<br>[[Media:Loran1.jpg_.png|Loran1.jpg .png]]<br>[[Media:Loran_chart.png|Loran_chart.png]]
+
Loran Radiation Laboratory personnel were heavily involved with research and development of the North Atlantic Chain. 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. Loran stations were manned by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and the Royal Navy (RN). 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.  
  
 +
By 1944, the North Atlantic Chain consisted of the following loran stations. The name of the organization operating the station is identified.
  
 +
Fenwick Island, Delaware, DE - USCG<br>
 +
Mantauk Point, Long Island NY - USCG<br>
 +
Baccaro, Nova Scotia, Canada - RCN<br>
 +
Deming, Nova Scotia, Canada - RCN<br>
 +
Bona Vista, Newfoundland - USCG<br>
 +
Bath Harbor, Labrador - USCG<br>
 +
Frederiks, Greenland - USCG<br>
 +
Vik Island - RN<br>
 +
Skuvanes Head, Faeroe Island - RN<br>
 +
Mangersta, Hebribes - RN<br>
 +
Sankaty, Nantucket, MA (monitoring station) - USCG<br>
  
This is a test&nbsp;
+
Aleutian Island and the Pacific Ocean:
 +
 
 +
In the summer of 1943, the United States Coast Guards completed the first independent installation of loran transmitting stations in the Aleutian Island. The equipment in this case had been quickly fabricated in the shop in Cambridge, as Naval procurement had not yet come into effect. The Coast Guards continued the work and installed twenty-five stations in the Pacific, climaxing its efforts with stations at Jima and Okinawa, which were erected closely on the heels of the invading forces. Of special significance in the Pacific warfare were stations in the Marianas, which provided very effective guidance for the 20th Air Force in its bombing of Japan.
 +
 
 +
Loran made its greatest direct contribution to winning the war because distances in the Pacific Ocean are enormous. As American forces moved westward, airfields were built on many of the small islands. The limited range of many World War II aircraft demanded that they frequently land and refuel. Loran provided the easy-to-use, accurate navigational system to locate airfields and land for refueling.
 +
 
 +
An Extreme Radio Engineering Project:
 +
 
 +
At the end of the war some seventy loran-transmitting stations were in operations providing nighttime service over 60 million square miles or three tenths of the earth’s surface. Pierce, in his article, reported that by 1946, 75,000 ship-borne and air-borne navigator’s receivers had been delivered by the various American manufactures.  He also reports that the Hydrographic Office, which had been preparing the required loran charts for nautical navigation, had shipped two-and-a-quarter million charts to various operating agencies.
 +
 
 +
References Used:
 +
 
 +
1. JA Pierce, "An Introduction to Loran", Proceeding of the IRE, 1946. Reprinted by IEEE AES Magazine 1990 (see attached).<br>
 +
2. Bowditch, American Practical Navigator. U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office, 1958 pp. 333 – 343.<br>
 +
3. The Coast Guard at War: IV LORAN VOLUME II.<br>
 +
 
 +
Prepared in the Historical Section Public Information Division U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in 1 August 1946:<br>
 +
http://www.uscg.mil/History/STATIONS/loran_volume_2.asp<br>
 +
http://www.uscg.mil/history/stations/LORAN_Section_2.asp<br>
 +
http://www.uscg.mil/history/stations/LORAN_Volume_1_Index.asp<br>
 +
 
 +
4. Other Websites:<br>
 +
http://www.loran-history.info/<br>
 +
http:/ www.jproc.ca/hyperbolic/loran_a.html <br>
 +
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LORAN
 +
 
 +
To Probe Further:
 +
 
 +
Willoughy, Malcolm Francis; The Story of LORAN in the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II, Arno Pro, 1980.
 +
|a6=Obstacles during the course of the project were accepted as is or resolved. Secrecy had to be maintained throughout, probably making things worst. The following conditions or obstacles had to be dealt with:
 +
 
 +
1. Loran stations were often in remote isolated area, making field construction difficult.
 +
 
 +
2. Cooperation among different countries was required: Canada, Denmark, and Britain, for example.
 +
 
 +
3. High reliability requirements: In his article, Pierce describes the features taken into account during the design because of high requirements for continuous service. He states that the transmitters worked satisfactorily within specified limits “99 percent of the times”. That's pretty impressive for first generation equipment, considering that loran transmitters are synchronized and operate in pairs.  Because the time at which the slave pulse reaches the master station is known, the master station continuously monitors the slave pulse. If a discrepancy is detected, the master alerts the slave station. Either station can initiate a trouble alarm to navigators warning of a potential problem.
 +
 
 +
To simplify maintenance, all units were in duplicate with provisions for quick interchange of operating and stand-by units. Overlapping coverage, multiple timers, were provided. Shielded rooms were used to protect timers from interferences.
 +
 
 +
4. Living at remote isolated loran stations: Loran stations were often isolated, remote, dreary places. One website explains as follows:
 +
 
 +
"The crews of loran stations varied somewhat in size, depending on their locations. They have averaged about fifteen men. As the stations had to be entirely self-sufficient, they had cooks, hospital corpsmen, in addition to the electronic technicians who operated and maintained the transmitters. Each station was commanded by a commissioned officer, usually a lieutenant, with a chief petty officer as second in command. Prospective commanding officers were given a short training course in loran and administration before assignment. Many young men dreaded loran duty because of the isolation, but after it is over, nearly all of them felt it had been well worthwhile. At isolated stations, tours of duty were for one year. The great majority of loran stations were supplied with fuel, bulky spare parts, and large staple items by a Coast Guard supply ship, which called once or twice a year. Unless they were located near a large community, loran stations received mail; personnel, fresh stores, and emergency spare parts by Coast Guard airplane. Most stations had their own airstrip."
 +
 
 +
5. Training operators and navigators: A great number of radio operators and technicians from the US and other countries had to be trained on how to operate the new navigation transmitters. Additionally, navigators aboard ships and aircrafts had to learn a whole new way of doing things to find their fix.
 +
|a5=Loran is a hyperbolic system of navigation by which difference in distance from two points on shore is determined by measurement of the time interval between receptions of pulse- modulated synchronized signals from transmitters at the two points.  Both ground waves and sky waves can be used to provide coverage over an extensive area with few stations, depending on design frequencies.  An important advantage of loran at the time of its development during World War 2 was that a ship could use loran without breaking radio silence. Loran transmitting stations work in pairs. Synchronization is achieved by letting the signals of the master station, control those of the slave station. To help overcome the disadvantage of requiring two transmitting stations for a single family of hyperbolic lines of positions, loran forms a chain of stations, so that each station except the end ones operate with the station on either side to form an intersecting lattice of position lines. To find his way, a loran navigator on a ship had to be trained, have a loran receiver-indicator, and a set of loran nautical charts or loran tables.  Standard loran was initially developed primarily for navigation over water.  It was also used for air-borne navigation.
 +
 
 +
[[Image:Loran chart.png‎|center]]
 +
 
 +
Today's loran operates on one of several frequencies between1700 and 2000 kHz. It enjoys propagation characteristics determined primarily by soil conductivity and ionosphere conditions. Both ground wave and sky waves can be used to provide coverage over an extensive area with few stations.  Usually, stations of a pair are located 200 to 400 miles or more. At one time, 1000 to 1400 miles apart separated several station pairs.  Transmitters now in use radiate about 100kw and give a ground-wave range over seawater of about 700 nautical miles in the daytime. The daytime range over land is seldom more than 250 miles even for high-flying aircraft and is scarcely 100miles at the surface of the earth. At night the ground-wave range oversea water is reduced to about 500 miles by the increase in atmospheric noise, but sky waves, which are almost completely absorbed by day, become effective and increase the reliable night range to about 1400miles. Generally, a number of stations are located so as to form a chain, with all but the end station in the group being double pulsing. In most parts of the world, signals can be received from at least two pairs of stations making it possible for a mariner to determine a fix using loran alone.
 +
 
 +
[[Media:Pierce Loran.pdf|A full and complete description of the evolution of loran is provided in the attached article by JA Pierce entitled "An Introduction to Loran"‎]]
 +
|submitted=No
 +
|a12=The Boston Section with support from local  Society Chapters, and financial contributions from sponsors.
 +
|a13name=Bruce Hecht
 +
|a13section=Boston
 +
|a13position=2010 Chair
 +
|a13email=Bruce Hecht
 +
|a14name=Robert Alongi
 +
|a14ou=Boston Section
 +
|a14position=Section Business Manager
 +
|a14email=sec.boston@ieee.org
 +
|a15Aname=Gilmore Cooke
 +
|a15Aemail=gilcooke@ieee.org
 +
|a15Aname2=
 +
|a15Aemail2=
 +
|a15Bname=c/o Robert Alongi
 +
|a15Bemail=sec.boston@ieee.org
 +
|a15Bname2=To be assigned later
 +
|a15Bemail2=
 +
|a15Cname=Gilmore Cooke
 +
|a15Ctitle=retired PE
 +
|a15Corg=Boston Section Executive Committee
 +
|a15Caddress=8 Canvasback, W. Yarmouth, MA 02673
 +
|a15Cphone=617-759-4271
 +
|a15Cemail=gilcooke@ieee.org
 +
}}
 +
<br>[[Media:Loran1.jpg_.png|Loran1.jpg .png]]

Latest revision as of 20:01, 17 July 2012

Docket #:2010-10

This Proposal has been approved, and is now a Milestone Nomination

This is a draft proposal, that has not yet been submitted. To submit this proposal, click on "Edit with form", check the "Submit this proposal for review" box at the bottom, and save the page.


Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old?


Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s fields of interest? (e.g. “the theory and practice of electrical, electronics, communications and computer engineering, as well as computer science, the allied branches of engineering and the related arts and sciences” – from the IEEE Constitution)


Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity?


Was it of at least regional importance?


Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)?


Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony?


Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated?


Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an Electrical Engineering Milestone? No


Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:

1940 to 1946

Title of the proposed milestone:

LORAN

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:


In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

Boston Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: Boston Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: Boston Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: Boston Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Section chair name masked to public

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Proposer's name masked to public
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

Cambridge MA

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need.

The Hood building is not a suitable place for the proposed IEEE plaque. Instead, the loran milestone plaque could probably be mounted alongside the other IEEE milestone plaques at MIT Building N42, 211 Massachusetts Avenue. The Boston Milestone Committee will seek their approval from MIT and proceed accordingly.

Are the original buildings extant?

No

Details of the plaque mounting:


How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

The proposed plaque would be be wall-mounted outdoors, probably attached to MIT Building N42, alongside other plaques at 211 Massachusetts Avenue. The plaque would be readily visible to pedestrians walking on this public sidewalk.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

MIT

A letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property:


A letter or email from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application:


What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

Radiation Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: In October 1940, MIT was chosen for the site of an independent laboratory that would be staffed by civilian and academic scientists from every discipline. Fourteen months before the U.S. entered World War II, MIT formed, under government contract, a newly Radiation Laboratory began its investigation of radio navigation and radar. The radio navigation division was housed separately from the radar group but was always referred to as Radiation Laboratory. The staff was housed in their own building in Cambridge. On 31 December 1945, the Radiation Laboratory was formally closed and staff members returned to their careers. It should be noted that in 1990, the IEEE Milestone was awarded to the Radiation Laboratory. That Milestone was awarded to the laboratory as a whole, not navigation.

Our Proposal:

The Boston Section wants to nominate the LORAN system of navigation for IEEE Milestone. Loran was a large engineered system, built from scratch and completed in the 1940s. Now, over sixty years later, every mariner in the world have used or know loran. The word stands for long-range navigation. Loran was a totally American system of navigation quickly developed during the Second World War. By 1946, loran was used by thousands of navigators over three-tenths of the surface of the earth. Loran is a hyperbolic system of navigation based on pulse-modulated synchronized signals. More details will be given elsewhere in this document.

The proposal recognizes the many different organizations involved in building the loran system. Military personnel, scientists, engineers, fabricators, technicians, radio operators, all had roles in getting loran on the air. However, the proposed milestone nomination is limited to those activities carried by Rad Lab employees in the US or on assignments off shore. Plans, scientific research, tests, even a few of the early transmitters were fabricated in the shop in Cambridge. Radio technicians and navigators were trained here in Boston. After attending Loran School, they would return to their assigned transmitter station, ship, or aircraft. This is why members of the Boston Section of the IEEE wish to commemorate loran as IEEE Milestone.

Navigation Division and Key Individuals:

At its peak level of staffing, there were about 60 people in the radio navigation or loran division: scientists, academics, engineers, and technicians. Their job was research, design, plan, engineer, and develop a whole new system of navigation called loran – long-range navigation system. For a short period of time, the staff had to operate and man the first two transmitting stations. Melville Eastman managed the division from 1941 to 1943. Eastman, CEO and founder of General Radio Corporation of Cambridge, was on leave from his company during that period. Donald G Fink replaced him on March 1943. Donald G Fink worked at the MIT Radiation Laboratory and traveled overseas installing loran sites. Fink had a long association with the Institute of Radio Engineers and was president of the IRE in 1958.

The chief researcher and scientist was JA (Jack) Pierce, a scientist fellow from Harvard University, Cambridge. He joined the team in 1941. Later in his career, Pierce would receive the Medal For Engineering Excellence for the design, teaching and advocacy of radio propagation, navigation and timing. His work led to the development of Loran, Loran C and other systems.

Monitoring the project and coordinating with superiors in Washington DC was Lawrence M. Harding, a senior officer in the United States Coast Guard (USCG). In 1942 he was transferred to Cambridge to coordinate with US Navy and government agencies. It was he who came up with the name LORAN derived from long-range navigation. Harding played an important role in surveys, logistics, equipment transportation, and building loran stations along the Atlantic coasts. By 1943, Harding and the Coast Guards were able get some twenty-five loran transmitter stations erected and running in the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific.

The Significance of the Loran Project:

Loran was a completely new American system of navigation, developed and quickly pressed into service during the war. By 1946, loran was used by thousands of navigators over three-tenths of the surface of the earth. Loran was and still is a hyperbolic system of navigation based on pulse-modulated synchronized signals. More details will be given elsewhere in this document.

The extent of loran coverage available to navigators in 1946 is illustrated in Figure 1. The North Atlantic Chain was given first priority to allow ship convoys to find their way across treacherous waters. During wartime, Loran had the advantage of allowing ships to maintain radio silence.

Loran1.jpg .png

The North Atlantic:

Loran Radiation Laboratory personnel were heavily involved with research and development of the North Atlantic Chain. 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. Loran stations were manned by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), and the Royal Navy (RN). 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.

By 1944, the North Atlantic Chain consisted of the following loran stations. The name of the organization operating the station is identified.

Fenwick Island, Delaware, DE - USCG
Mantauk Point, Long Island NY - USCG
Baccaro, Nova Scotia, Canada - RCN
Deming, Nova Scotia, Canada - RCN
Bona Vista, Newfoundland - USCG
Bath Harbor, Labrador - USCG
Frederiks, Greenland - USCG
Vik Island - RN
Skuvanes Head, Faeroe Island - RN
Mangersta, Hebribes - RN
Sankaty, Nantucket, MA (monitoring station) - USCG

Aleutian Island and the Pacific Ocean:

In the summer of 1943, the United States Coast Guards completed the first independent installation of loran transmitting stations in the Aleutian Island. The equipment in this case had been quickly fabricated in the shop in Cambridge, as Naval procurement had not yet come into effect. The Coast Guards continued the work and installed twenty-five stations in the Pacific, climaxing its efforts with stations at Jima and Okinawa, which were erected closely on the heels of the invading forces. Of special significance in the Pacific warfare were stations in the Marianas, which provided very effective guidance for the 20th Air Force in its bombing of Japan.

Loran made its greatest direct contribution to winning the war because distances in the Pacific Ocean are enormous. As American forces moved westward, airfields were built on many of the small islands. The limited range of many World War II aircraft demanded that they frequently land and refuel. Loran provided the easy-to-use, accurate navigational system to locate airfields and land for refueling.

An Extreme Radio Engineering Project:

At the end of the war some seventy loran-transmitting stations were in operations providing nighttime service over 60 million square miles or three tenths of the earth’s surface. Pierce, in his article, reported that by 1946, 75,000 ship-borne and air-borne navigator’s receivers had been delivered by the various American manufactures. He also reports that the Hydrographic Office, which had been preparing the required loran charts for nautical navigation, had shipped two-and-a-quarter million charts to various operating agencies.

References Used:

1. JA Pierce, "An Introduction to Loran", Proceeding of the IRE, 1946. Reprinted by IEEE AES Magazine 1990 (see attached).
2. Bowditch, American Practical Navigator. U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office, 1958 pp. 333 – 343.
3. The Coast Guard at War: IV LORAN VOLUME II.

Prepared in the Historical Section Public Information Division U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in 1 August 1946:
http://www.uscg.mil/History/STATIONS/loran_volume_2.asp
http://www.uscg.mil/history/stations/LORAN_Section_2.asp
http://www.uscg.mil/history/stations/LORAN_Volume_1_Index.asp

4. Other Websites:
http://www.loran-history.info/
http:/ www.jproc.ca/hyperbolic/loran_a.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LORAN

To Probe Further:

Willoughy, Malcolm Francis; The Story of LORAN in the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II, Arno Pro, 1980.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

Obstacles during the course of the project were accepted as is or resolved. Secrecy had to be maintained throughout, probably making things worst. The following conditions or obstacles had to be dealt with:

1. Loran stations were often in remote isolated area, making field construction difficult.

2. Cooperation among different countries was required: Canada, Denmark, and Britain, for example.

3. High reliability requirements: In his article, Pierce describes the features taken into account during the design because of high requirements for continuous service. He states that the transmitters worked satisfactorily within specified limits “99 percent of the times”. That's pretty impressive for first generation equipment, considering that loran transmitters are synchronized and operate in pairs. Because the time at which the slave pulse reaches the master station is known, the master station continuously monitors the slave pulse. If a discrepancy is detected, the master alerts the slave station. Either station can initiate a trouble alarm to navigators warning of a potential problem.

To simplify maintenance, all units were in duplicate with provisions for quick interchange of operating and stand-by units. Overlapping coverage, multiple timers, were provided. Shielded rooms were used to protect timers from interferences.

4. Living at remote isolated loran stations: Loran stations were often isolated, remote, dreary places. One website explains as follows:

"The crews of loran stations varied somewhat in size, depending on their locations. They have averaged about fifteen men. As the stations had to be entirely self-sufficient, they had cooks, hospital corpsmen, in addition to the electronic technicians who operated and maintained the transmitters. Each station was commanded by a commissioned officer, usually a lieutenant, with a chief petty officer as second in command. Prospective commanding officers were given a short training course in loran and administration before assignment. Many young men dreaded loran duty because of the isolation, but after it is over, nearly all of them felt it had been well worthwhile. At isolated stations, tours of duty were for one year. The great majority of loran stations were supplied with fuel, bulky spare parts, and large staple items by a Coast Guard supply ship, which called once or twice a year. Unless they were located near a large community, loran stations received mail; personnel, fresh stores, and emergency spare parts by Coast Guard airplane. Most stations had their own airstrip."

5. Training operators and navigators: A great number of radio operators and technicians from the US and other countries had to be trained on how to operate the new navigation transmitters. Additionally, navigators aboard ships and aircrafts had to learn a whole new way of doing things to find their fix.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

Loran is a hyperbolic system of navigation by which difference in distance from two points on shore is determined by measurement of the time interval between receptions of pulse- modulated synchronized signals from transmitters at the two points. Both ground waves and sky waves can be used to provide coverage over an extensive area with few stations, depending on design frequencies. An important advantage of loran at the time of its development during World War 2 was that a ship could use loran without breaking radio silence. Loran transmitting stations work in pairs. Synchronization is achieved by letting the signals of the master station, control those of the slave station. To help overcome the disadvantage of requiring two transmitting stations for a single family of hyperbolic lines of positions, loran forms a chain of stations, so that each station except the end ones operate with the station on either side to form an intersecting lattice of position lines. To find his way, a loran navigator on a ship had to be trained, have a loran receiver-indicator, and a set of loran nautical charts or loran tables. Standard loran was initially developed primarily for navigation over water. It was also used for air-borne navigation.

Loran chart.png

Today's loran operates on one of several frequencies between1700 and 2000 kHz. It enjoys propagation characteristics determined primarily by soil conductivity and ionosphere conditions. Both ground wave and sky waves can be used to provide coverage over an extensive area with few stations. Usually, stations of a pair are located 200 to 400 miles or more. At one time, 1000 to 1400 miles apart separated several station pairs. Transmitters now in use radiate about 100kw and give a ground-wave range over seawater of about 700 nautical miles in the daytime. The daytime range over land is seldom more than 250 miles even for high-flying aircraft and is scarcely 100miles at the surface of the earth. At night the ground-wave range oversea water is reduced to about 500 miles by the increase in atmospheric noise, but sky waves, which are almost completely absorbed by day, become effective and increase the reliable night range to about 1400miles. Generally, a number of stations are located so as to form a chain, with all but the end station in the group being double pulsing. In most parts of the world, signals can be received from at least two pairs of stations making it possible for a mariner to determine a fix using loran alone.

A full and complete description of the evolution of loran is provided in the attached article by JA Pierce entitled "An Introduction to Loran"‎

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