Thursday, August 17, 2017

UKHO ensures safe arrival of aircraft carrier into Portsmouth

From Hydro

The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) supported the safe arrival of HMS 'Queen Elizabeth' into Portsmouth on 16 August 2017 by providing specialist marine geospatial and hydrographic expertise and data capabilities.

Following initial dredging operations to make Portsmouth’s navigation channel and entrance deeper, hydrographic data was collected by the survey launch HMS 'Gleaner' using multibeam echosounder technology to confirm the available water depth.

As well as providing advice during data collection, the final dataset was then validated by the UKHO to ensure it was the to the highest Category Zone of Confidence - a criteria used to determine the accuracy and data quality of seafloor coverage for safe navigation purposes.
The UKHO then used this information to update ADMIRALTY chart coverage of Portsmouth Harbour and Approaches, to support the safe arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Working in close collaboration with the Royal Navy, Queen’s Harbour Master and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, the UKHO also provided its wider marine geospatial expertise to prepare for the arrival, by providing detailed tidal stream predictions and supporting the placement of navigational aids.

MH370: satellite images show 'probably man-made' objects floating in sea

Reports prepared by Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO analyse French satellite imagery taken two weeks after the disappearance of MH370.
Photograph: Byrne Guy/Geoscience Australia

From The Guardian by Oliver Holmes

Drift analysis of debris reveals new coordinates for potential impact location

Australia has released satellite images it says show 12 “probably man-made” objects floating in the sea near the suspected crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Taken two weeks after MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014, the photos were analysed by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
Its researchers used drift modelling of the debris to suggest a new potential location for the crash site — a 5,000 sq km (1930 sq miles) area just north of the former search zone.

 Drift modelling from the CSIRO report showing simulated trajectories of debris items over time from a single point of origin: at 35.6 degrees south and 92.8 degrees east.
Australia is on the right of the picture.
Photo: ATSB

Two Australian government agencies, Geoscience Australia and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), analysed the images, which were taken by a French military satellite but not released to the public.

The report said the detected objects appeared to form clusters, rather than being randomly scattered across the area.

The findings seemed to bolster the ATSB’s conclusion last November that the plane most likely crashed north of waters it spent more than two-and-a-half years searching.
The CSIRO report provided precise coordinates —35.6°S, 92.8°E.

images from Pleiades Astrium

The areas covered by four newly-analysed images thought to depict wreckage of MH370
The report said that the 35.6S, 92.8E location was the likely crash site, though two other possible candidates (34.7S, 92.6E and 35.3S, 91.8E) had been identified.
All are just outside the search area specified by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.  

Researchers said they had a “high degree of confidence” that the drift models of the debris pointed to an impact site within that area, a part of the Indian Ocean that was not searched.

Greg Hood, Chief Commissioner of the ATSB, said the reports “may be useful in informing any further search effort that may be mounted in the future” but called for caution.
“These objects have not been definitely identified as MH370 debris,” he said.
“The image resolution is not high enough to be certain whether the objects originated from MH370 or are other objects that might be found floating in oceans around the world.”

 Images of an object in the water

Source: French Military Intelligence Service

Regardless, the tantalising new information will reignite pressure to locate the passenger plane that vanished with 239 people aboard, one of aviation’s greatest mysteries.
The underwater search for the Boeing 777 in the southern Indian Ocean was suspended indefinitely in January to an outcry from families of the missing.

New area with the GeoGarage platform (AHS chart)

Investigators have used satellite data, radar tracking, and air traffic to estimate where MH370 plunged into the ocean.
Inexplicably, the jet’s communication systems were cut off early into the flight, and the pilot failed to check in with air traffic controllers.

The plane’s transponder, a vital radar system that broadcasts height and location information, also stopped transmitting.
Later, the 120,000 sq km (46,000 sq miles) search zone was determined along a curved line called the Seventh Arc, an area where the plan is considered to have exhausted its fuel.

More than a year after the plane disappeared, a 2.7m-long piece of metal covered in barnacles washed up on RĂ©union Island, more than 3,700km (2,300 miles) away from the main search site.
French investigators confirmed it was part of the missing aircraft.

Since then, more parts of the aircraft appear to have washed up on the east coast of Africa.

Malaysia, as the state of registry for the aircraft, retains overall authority and responsibility for any future search and has not indicated an interest in restarting it.

Links :

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Freedom of navigation in the South China Sea : a pratical guide

From AMTI by Eleanor Freund (pdf report)

Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs) are one of the principal tools by which the United States challenges maritime claims deemed excessive under international law.
Although the U.S. Navy has conducted FONOPs all over the world for nearly 40 years, recent operations began garnering unprecedented publicity as a point of friction with China in the contentious South China Sea disputes.
Since October 2015, the United States has conducted seven FONOPs that seek to challenge specific Chinese claims in the area.
Eleanor Freund of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs recently published a report on the FONOPs program that details exactly how the U.S.Navy challenged five of those seven claims (the report went to print before the most recent two operations), as well as explaining the purpose and utility of the program in the South China Sea.
AMTI has reproduced Freund’s charts illustrating each of the operations in chronological order, below.

U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operation #1

Date: October 27, 2015
Location: Spratly Islands (Subi Reef, Northeast Cay, Southwest Cay, South Reef, Sandy Cay)
Vessel: USS Lassen (DDG-82)
Excessive Maritime Claim: Requirement that states provide notice/obtain permission prior to innocent passage through territorial sea
Nature of Transit: Innocent passage

On October 27, 2015, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Lassen conducted a freedom of navigation operation by transiting under innocent passage within 12 nautical miles of five features in the Spratly Islands—Subi Reef, Northeast Cay, Southwest Cay, South Reef, and Sandy Cay—each of which is claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
The freedom of navigation operation was designed to challenge policies by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam requiring prior permission or notification of transit under innocent passage in their territorial sea.
Accordingly, the United States did not provide notification, or request permission, in advance of transiting under innocent passage.

It should be noted, however, that none of these states has formally made a legal claim to a territorial sea around these features.
Indeed, no state has made any specific claims to the waters surrounding the features it occupies in the Spratly Islands.

In practice, however, they still require that states obtain permission or provide notice prior to transiting within 12 nautical miles, and these specific features would be legally entitled to a territorial sea.
As a result, the United States observed requirements of innocent passage during its transit.
The United States does not take a position on which nation has sovereignty over each feature in the Spratly Islands, and the operation was not intended to challenge any country’s claims of sovereignty over land features.

U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operation #2

Date: January 29, 2016
Location: Paracel Islands (Triton Island)
Vessel: USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54)
Excessive Maritime Claim: Requirement that states provide notice/obtain permission prior to innocent passage through territorial sea
Nature of Transit: Innocent passage

On January 29, 2016, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur conducted a freedom of navigation operation by transiting under innocent passage within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island in the Paracel Islands.
Triton Island is occupied by the Chinese, but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
The island is legally entitled to a territorial sea.
The freedom of navigation operation was designed to challenge policies by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam requiring prior permission or notification of transit under innocent passage in the territorial sea.
Accordingly, the United States did not provide notification, or request permission, in advance of transiting under innocent passage.
The United States does not take a position on which nation has sovereignty over each feature in the Spratly Islands, and the operation was not intended to challenge any country’s claims of sovereignty over land features.

U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operation #3

Date: May 10, 2016
Location: Spratly Islands (Fiery Cross Reef)
Vessel: USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110)
Excessive Maritime Claim: Requirement that states provide notice/obtain permission prior to innocent passage through territorial sea
Nature of Transit: Innocent passage

On May 10, 2016, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS William P. Lawrence conducted a freedom of navigation operation by transiting under innocent passage within 12 nautical miles of Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands.
Fiery Cross Reef is occupied by the Chinese, but also claimed by the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

At the time that the freedom of navigation operation was conducted, it was unclear if Fiery Cross Reef was legally considered a rock or an island.
Moreover, none of the claimant states has formally made a legal claim to a territorial sea surrounding Fiery Cross Reef.
Nevertheless, because Fiery Cross Reef is legally entitled to a territorial sea, irrespective of whether it is a rock or island, the United States transited within 12 nautical miles of Fiery Cross Reef under the provisions of innocent passage.
When the decision in the Philippines v. China case was issued in July 2016, Fiery Cross Reef was found to be a rock.7

As in the previous two examples, this freedom of navigation operation was designed to challenge policies by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam requiring prior permission or notification of transit under innocent passage in the territorial sea.
Accordingly, the United States did not provide notification, or request permission, in advance of transiting under innocent passage.
The United States does not take a position on which nation has sovereignty over each feature in the Spratly Islands, and the operation was not intended to challenge any country’s claims of sovereignty over land features.

U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operation #4

Date: October 21, 2016
Location: Paracel Islands
Vessel: USS Decatur (DDG-73)
Excessive Maritime Claim: Excessive straight baseline claims
Nature of Transit: Sailing on the high seas

The fourth freedom of navigation operation, conducted on October 21, 2016, differed from the three previous freedom of navigation operations in that it did not challenge the illegal requirement that states provide notification or obtain permission prior to transiting through another state’s territorial sea under innocent passage.
Rather, it challenged excessive straight baseline claims made by China around the Paracel Islands.
The Paracel Islands are occupied by the Chinese, but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.

Baselines are the point from which the territorial sea, contiguous zone, and exclusive economic zone are measured.
Generally speaking, they exist at the low-water line along the coast.

On May 15, 1996, China issued a statement establishing straight baselines around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.
The purported straight baselines, drawn between 28 basepoints, enclose the Paracel Islands in their entirety.

Straight baselines are important because—where they are established legally—they become the point from which a state can measure the breadth of its territorial sea, the contiguous zone, and other claimed maritime zones.
By drawing straight baselines around the Paracel Islands, China claimed the entire enclosed area as part of its sovereign waters as well as a 12 nautical mile territorial sea surrounding the enclosed area.

The United States does not recognize China’s straight baselines claim around the Paracel Islands for the reason that UNCLOS allows only archipelagic states (i.e. countries comprised entirely of islands) to draw straight baselines around island groups.
China, as a continental state, cannot claim such a right.

On October 21, 2016, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Decatur conducted a freedom of navigation operation by crossing China’s claimed straight baselines in the Paracel Islands, loitering in the area, and conducting maneuvering drills.
The USS Decatur did not approach within 12 nautical miles of any individual land feature entitled to a territorial sea; rather, it sailed in the area between the outer limits of the 12 nautical mile territorial seas and China’s claimed straight baselines.
In doing so, the USS Decatur crossed into waters that would be considered China’s internal waters if its straight baseline claims were legal, which they are not.
(Internal waters are accorded the rights of the territorial sea.)

Because the USS Decatur loitered and conducted maneuvering drills, which cannot be considered continuous and expeditious passage, it signaled that it was not transiting under innocent passage and did not consider the waters to be part of the territorial sea.
(Remember, innocent passage requires continuous and expeditious transit through another state’s territorial waters. See pages 12–14 and 19–20 for further elaboration on this point.)
In doing so, it deliberately challenged China’s claim of straight baselines around the Paracel Islands.

U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operation #5

Date: May 24, 2017
Location: Spratly Islands (Mischief Reef)
Vessel: USS Dewey (DDG-105)
Excessive Maritime Claim: Unclear, presumed illegal territorial sea
Nature of Transit: Sailing on the high seas

On May 24, 2017, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Dewey conducted a freedom of navigation operation by transiting within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands.
Mischief Reef is occupied by the Chinese, but also claimed by the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
When the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued the decision in Philippines v. China, it found Mischief Reef to be a low-tide elevation.
For that reason, Mischief Reef is not legally entitled to a territorial sea.

The USS Dewey navigated within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef and proceeded to sail in a zigzag pattern.
It also conducted a “man overboard” drill.
Both actions were clear indications that the USS Dewey did not intend to transit under innocent passage.
(Remember, innocent passage requires continuous and expeditious transit through another state’s territorial waters. Sailing in a zigzag pattern and conducting a man overboard drill are both violations of this condition. See pages 12–14 and 19–20 for further elaboration on this point.)
Presumably then, the freedom of navigation operation was intended to challenge the existence of an illegal territorial sea around Mischief Reef by sailing within 12 nautical miles of the feature in a manner not in accordance with innocent passage.

Complicating the operation, however, is the fact that neither China, the Philippines, Taiwan, nor Vietnam has actually claimed a territorial sea around Mischief Reef.
This raises the question: what excessive maritime claim was the United States actually challenging? If the United States was not disputing an existing excessive maritime claim, then its actions would be more accurately described as sailing on the high seas than as a freedom of navigation operation.
Unfortunately, the Pentagon has not explained the legal rationale behind the operation so the intent of the USS Dewey’s operation remains unclear.

As was true in prior examples, the United States does not take a position on which nation has sovereignty over each feature in the Spratly Islands, and the operation was not intended to challenge any country’s claims of sovereignty over land features.

Links :

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Martin Behaim's Erdapfel, 1492

original globe in Times Projection
courtesy of Rumsey collection

Martin Behaim's Erdapfel (earth apple) is the oldest surviving terrestrial globe.
It exists in only one manuscript copy painted by Georg Glockendon, held Nuremberg, Germany.
It shows the world according to Ptolemy and other sources, before the discovery of America by Columbus in the same year as the globe was made, 1492.
Behaim's globe vividly shows the earth without America and illustrates why Columbus thought he could sail directly west from Europe and land in China and the East Indies.

 Realized by A. E. Nordenskjold in 1889

This facsimile of Behaim's globe gores and callots was made by E.G. Ravenstein in 1908 and is generally considered the best available facsimile.
It is based on both the original globe and an earlier facsimile made in 1847 by E.F. Jomard, as well as other sources for the notes and place names.
While it is by no means a completely faithful copy of the original, it does express the overall intent of Behaim's globe.
We have georeferenced the 12 globe gores and 2 polar callots, allowing the reprojection of the 14 separate sections into continuous world maps on several different projections.
We have also placed a virtual globe version in Google Earth:

Monday, August 14, 2017

US NOAA update in the GeoGarage platform

4 nautical raster charts updated

Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 – 6 August – record fleet enjoys perfect start

In front of the Royal Yacht Squadron’s magnificent clubhouse in Cowes, a record-breaking fleet of 368 yachts embark on the 47th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Fasnet Rock with the GeoGarage platform (UKHO chart)
Lying ahead is the famous 605-nm race to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock on the southern tip of Ireland.
The 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race fleet is truly diverse, a quality clearly evident to all of those watching on the shore in Cowes or the thousands following the live start of the race on the internet.

Rolex Fasnet race

 Fastnet Rock rounding with leader and future winner Rambler 88

Day 1 – The Needles at the western end of the Solent
is one of a number of landmarks passed by the fleet –
Rolex Fastnet Race © Quinag

  Fasnet rock sunset rounding,
with the 115ft Nikita, the largest mono-hull in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017
The first of seven start sequences was reserved for the fastest multihulls, the final saw the leading monohulls comprising the contrasting designs of Nikata, CQS and Rambler R88 begin their quest for line honours.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: ‘Chasing coral’ bears witness to the death aquatic

Beneath the waves, coral reefs are dying on a massive scale.
These scientists and filmmakers are fighting to stop it. 
Jeff Orlowski about how 50% of the world's coral disappeared in the last 30 years.

From NYTimes by Nicole Herrington

 Imagine witnessing the untimely death of a vibrant, otherworldly being.
As it succumbs to an invisible menace, this entity’s colors (brilliant shades of amber, magenta, chartreuse) turn fluorescent blue and purple and green before fading to bright white.
As it decays, wisps of sludge drip from the skeletal remains.

Apocalyptic sci-fi?
This is real life, in the documentary “Chasing Coral.”
And it’s an environmental tragedy of our own making, the film heartbreakingly argues, that has little hope of being reversed without immediate human intervention.

The director Jeff Orlowski and Richard Vevers, the founder of the Ocean Agency and a driving force behind this film, teamed up to show the toll of climate change on coral reefs.
Using his 2012 documentary, “Chasing Ice,”in which time-lapse technology showed the melting of glaciers, as his guide, Mr. Orlowski frames “Chasing Coral” with a similar structure.
But setting up time-lapse camera rigs deep underwater off the coasts of Caribbean islands, Hawaii and Australia proved problematic.
At one point, the assembled team of researchers has to document the deadly transformation of the Great Barrier Reef manually: diving with special cameras to meticulously record the day-to-day changes on the ocean floor.
Once-thriving marine metropolises, teeming with sting rays, turtles, little yellow fish and big-eyed predators, gradually wither away into a wasteland of muck.

The film gives a scientific breakdown of the biology of coral (these complex organisms play a vital role in the marine ecosystem) and the cause of the bleaching events leading to its demise: Trapped greenhouse gases have been warming oceans more rapidly since the 1980s, and a two-degree increase is fatal.
But the film is particularly compelling when following Zack Rago, a self-proclaimed coral nerd whose love is palpable and infectious.
The work takes a toll on his spirits, never more so than when after weeks of dives, he encounters what has essentially become a grave site, barely resembling what was once a fertile haven.

Perhaps the most striking moment is when the divers must cross the deck of a party boat to gain access to a section of the Great Barrier Reef.
The revelers hardly even notice the weary dive team, trying to spread the word of imminent doom.
Links :

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Could J-Class yacht racing be the most expensive hobby on earth?

 Iconic J Class, Bermuda, July 2017

The spectacular J Class - only 10 were ever built from just 20 designs and their reign lasted less than a decade.
In the 1930s they were the most technically advanced yachts in the world.

For 87 years they have been the epitome of the America’s Cup.
Today, little has changed.
And when they rolled into Bermuda, the spectacle was unique.

From Gentleman's journal by Jonathan Wells

They may cost millions to maintain, but there are only 9 of these vessels left on earth

‘The initial cost isn’t really that much,’ I am told by a J-Class yacht owner as we stand at the harbour of Hamilton, Bermuda.
He clearly senses my scepticism, and is quick to clarify.
‘I mean, maybe not as expensive as you may think. The base boat still obviously costs around 10 to 20 million dollars. But the real costs start racking up when you have to pay for the upkeep, which can come in at anywhere up to $3 million every year.’

Toby Hodges was aboard Shamrock V, the oldest existing J Class, as seven J Class yachts raced for the first time ever.
See the action from onboard the J Class Shamrock V in Bermuda as seven Js are expertly guided around the course by around 30 crew members each.
Shamrock V is smaller and lighter than the modern J fleet so can only compete on handicap

It’s a painful figure, but J-Class yachts – a type of single-masted sailboat that must have either been built in the early 20th Century or produced meticulously to period plans – are beautiful to behold.
As we stand, a glass of Cloudy Bay Pelorus sparkling away in our hands, six of these beautiful vessels bob happily next to each other in the harbour.
And that’s quite a gathering – there are only 9 left on earth.

Majestic titans of sail, these boats competed just last week off the Caribbean island and, although Lionheart may have taken the crown, two of the competitors – Shamrock V and Endeavour – are genuine 1930s boats.
Exploring the vessels in the Princess Marina is incredibly exciting, with worn wooden decks and burnished brass fittings giving the yachts a truly antique feel.
But speaking to the owners is almost as awe-inspiring as stepping aboard the boats themselves.
And it isn’t because of their passion for sailing – although they have that by the boatful – but rather their capacity for spending.
Granted, these are rich men, dynastic heirs or titans of industry, but they don’t even seem to think twice about spending a million in a month on fixing up their boats.

Not only that, but the owners are more than happy to let this level of expenditure slip under the radar.
Whereas most men wouldn’t even be able to buy a new car without posting a few choice snaps on Instagram, these sailors can splash substantial cash on these vessels without as much as sending out a single tweet. 

And, while the owners are secretive about revealing too many details about the boats in the Cloudy Bay J Class, there are certain snippets that show just how pricey these boats can be.
One vessel has an entirely mahogany-veneered interior (all taken from one tree), another has ensuites tiled throughout in original black-and-white 1930s bathroom tiles and a third has a dedicated wine cellar stuffed – literally – to the gunnels with everything from Te Koko to Te Wahi.

So, next time you watch these 140ft kings of the sea set sail, remember: those base boats may be just a ‘drop in the ocean’, but it’s the decadence below decks which makes racing these superyachts the ‘most expensive hobby on earth’.

Links :

Friday, August 11, 2017

The naming of seas: the associated problems and their resolutions

The Publication S-23 "Limits of Oceans and Seas" was published by the IHB in 1929 to define names and limits of seas and to be used for safe navigation, hydrography and oceanography.
S-23 was based on the Resolution adopted in the first International Hydrographic Conference in London in 1919, which mentioned that names and limits of seas and oceans should be defined for safe navigation.
S-23 1st edition, 1928 :
The very end of the legend is the "Southern Ocean" (mers du Sud).

From Economic Times by Vikram Doctor

In May 1988, the Times of India (ToI) reported on an issue riling readers of Pakistan Times, a now defunct newspaper that was then owned by the Pakistani government.
This was the name of the Indian Ocean which they felt was unfairly linked to this country simply because “by calling itself India the country seemed to have become heir to the entire history of the subcontinent.”

One writer felt that the fairer approach would be to limit the use of India up to August 1947 and after that “what remained outside Pakistan and Bangladesh should be called Bharat.”
But since the Indian government had not been so obliging, writers felt Pakistan should not go along with this historical and geographic appropriation and should stop using the term “Indian Ocean’.

One writer proposed calling it the Indo-Pak Ocean as a fair solution.
A more diplomatic correspondent felt this would annoy other countries in the region, but suggested that, because many of these countries were Islamic, the Muslim Ocean was the right term.
“All Muslim countries should agree to such a proposition and the matter should be taken up at the Organisation of Islamic Conference,” he says.”

Chart of the Indian and Part of the Pacific Oceans, 1870

Pakistan’s irritation with the Indian Ocean name goes back even further.
In March 1971, ToI reported on a presentation made by Latif Ahmed Sherwani of the Pakistani Institution of International Affairs at a seminar in Georgetown University, Washington DC, on Indian Ocean affairs.

Sherwani pointed out that the Mediterranean wasn’t known as the Italian Sea, despite Italy occupying a prominent position in it, just as India did in the Indian Ocean.
So in the same way a name should be used that was more respectful of the many countries around the Indian Ocean’s rim.
He suggested calling it “the eastern ocean or the Afro-Asian ocean.”

 courtesy of CPGS

Even further back though, an objection to ‘Indian Ocean’ came not from Pakistan, but Indonesia.
In July, 1963 ToI reported the startling news that Indonesia's President Sukarno wanted Indonesia's Navy to call the Indian Ocean as the Indonesian Ocean and his Chief of Staff of the Navy Eddy Martadinata had issued an order making the change.
Martadinata later became ambassador to Pakistan where he may have enjoyed meeting others peeved about the persistence of ‘Indian Ocean.’

China’s position

Matters of sea are important to Indonesia which is a nation of islands.
This includes the Natuna Islands, an archipelago of 272 small islands that lie in a part of the sea where they rub up against China.
That whole area is generally known as the South China Sea but last week the Indonesian government said that the part near their islands would now be called the North Natuna Sea.

 Natuna islands with the GeoGarage platform (NGA chart)

China’s response was predictable.
“Some countries so-called renaming is meaningless,” said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.
Some idea of Chinese views about the region can be seen in a statement made at an international conference in 2015 by Chinese Vice Admiral Yuan Yubai, who stated bluntly, “the South China Sea, as the name indicates, is a sea area that belongs to China.”

The Chinese government’s position on the sea is inherited from its predecessor, the Republic of China (RoC).
In the aftermath of World War II the RoC released the Nine-Dash line, a map with nine dashes encompassing nearly all of the sea between the Chinese mainland and the countries of South-East Asia, all claimed for China.

After the RoC collapsed and moved to Taiwan, its communist successor continued to maintain the claim (though the RoC in Taiwan has never officially dropped it either).

According to the Resolution, the name "Sea of Japan" was registered in 1923 and was adopted in 1929. After the publication of S-23, cartographers all over the world have been referring to the publication when they produce maps and charts.
Since the 1st edition of S-23, the name "Sea of Japan" has been used until the 3rd edition was published in 1953 when the Republic of Korea was not a Member State of the IHO.
After the long usage of S-23, it was decided at the 11th International Hydrographic Conference in 1977 that a new edition of S-23 should be produced, and the IHB made a draft 4th edition and circulated the draft to all Member States in 1986.
However, it was not adopted.
After a long preparation of a new edition of S-23, the IHB circulated a new draft 4th edition of S-23 in August 2002.
There were various changes - for instance, the name of the publication was changed from "Limits of Oceans and Seas" to "Names and Limits of Oceans and Seas", and 60 seas were given new names. However, the publication did not include the name of the sea area between Korea and Japan and left it blank.
The IHB suddenly withdrew the draft 40 days after the circulation due to various problems.

Wide Gulf

An even more intensely felt maritime dispute in the region has been running for decades over the name for the sea between Korea and Japan.
The general convention is to call this the Sea of Japan, but South and North Korea affirm passionately that they always called this the East Sea and that its appropriation by Japan continues the humiliating colonisation of Korea by Japan and atrocities committed during WWII.
The Koreas have pleaded in multiple international meetings for at least parity, with both names being recognised, but Japan remains stonily unresponsive, inflaming the matter even more.

Another dispute over maritime naming, in a particularly volatile region, is over the Persian Gulf.
The ancient Greeks referred to this as the Sinus Persicus, with Sinus Arabicus (Arabian Gulf) sometimes used for what became more commonly known as the Red Sea.
The six Arab countries who border the Persian Gulf strongly feel that their control of around 70% of the coastline gives them the right to rename it the Arabian Gulf now.

 Sinus Persicus Qatif map, 1658

Iran refuses to countenance this even though, ironically, it has moved away from the term Persia in most other ways.
The term Iran, which derives from Aryan, applies for most of the country, except in matter concerning the Gulf.
There is an official National Persian Gulf Day on April 30th, the top Iranian soccer teams play in the Persian Gulf Pro League and airlines found to be using any term other than Persian Gulf on their in-flight information systems are banned from flying in Iranian air-space.

According to a paper by Martin Levinson, following the Islamic Revolution of 1979 there were moves to promote the term Islamic Gulf – which presumably the Pakistani proponents of the Muslim Ocean would have appreciated.
This idea disappeared after the start of the inter-Islamic Iran-Iraq war, but apparently was revived by Osama bin-Laden and used as a term to rally Islamic militants.

Limits of Oceans and Seas (1953) : sheet 3 Indonesia

Building blocks

This underlines the larger dangers of maritime naming disputes.
Land based naming disputes are numerous, but they tend to settled by the brute principle of physical possession.
Laying claim to the open sea is harder and it is partly why opponents try and enlist more solid features like continental shelves, shoals and reefs as a way to buttress their position (China has been accused of actually building islands for this purpose).

The real problems come with the economic benefits which, inconveniently tend to be less easy to pin down.
Sea lanes for ships tend to be in the most open waters, submarine oil and gas fields stretch in unpredictable directions and shoals of fish which, as they dwindle through overfishing are increasingly desperately sought after by national fishing fleets, and are the hardest of all to demarcate in national areas.

 From IHO 23-3rd: Limits of Oceans and Seas, Special Publication 23, 3rd Edition 1953,
published by the International Hydrographic Organization.

Accidental ownership

In all this India is something of an exception.
Our name attaches to one of the largest maritime expanses of all, but the country has never seemed too concerned about defending this.
Periodically our politicians boast about the blue-water ambitions of the Indian Navy and the potential of Indian Ocean commerce, but they then go back to land based issues.
Coastal issues are literally marginal in India, with fishing communities struggling to receive the same attention paid to farming ones.

This might reflect the fact that our ownership of the Ocean name is somewhat accidental.
As with most things involving the predominantly Western developed system of cartography, it was first used by the Greeks tracking the sources of the prized spices and textiles from India.
As Martin W.Lewis explains in his essay ‘Dividing the Ocean Sea’ (1999), the Greeks began the somewhat arbitrary division between sea (thalassa) which meant the Mediterranean for them, and the wider Oceanos, the world of sea that lay at the edge of the world of land.

Travel and trade made them refine this view and from fairly early on the term Indikon pelagos was used for the seas around India.
The Roman geographers who built on their knowledge occasionally made a distinction between the waters closer to India and the open sea they knew existed beyond Ceylon, which they called Mare Prosodum or the Green Sea.
Other terms were used like Oceanus Orientalis, Ethiopian Ocean (for the parts closer to Africa) and Mare Barbaricum, but probably following the traders who actually sailed the seas, they always came back to Indian Ocean.

 An unusual and attractive 1658 map of the Indian Ocean, or Erythraean Sea, as it was in antiquity. Composed by Jan Jansson after a similar 1597 map published by A. Ortelius in his Parergon .
Covers from Egypt and the Nile valley eastward past Arabia and India, to Southeast Asia and Java. Cartographically, India, Arabia, and Africa roughly correspond to the conventions of the period. Southeast Asia is less recognizable, but the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Java are clearly noted.
Most of the place names used throughout are derived from Ptolemy, who himself based his description of the region heavily on records from Alexander the Great's conquests.
Two smaller maps in the upper left and right quadrants are of exceptional interest.
The upper left chart shows northwestern Africa and is titled Annonis Periplus.
This is a reference to the legendary expeditions of the Carthaginian King Hanno, said to have been the first to access the Indian Ocean by sailing around the southern tip of Africa.
Incidentally, en route, he is also said to have been the first to tame a lion.
The upper right chart shows the northern polar regions as they were perceived at the time.
A landmass covering the polar ice cap is indentified as Hyperborea.
To the left of this, roughly where North America rests today, the island of Atlantis appears; while Scythia, Europe (Thule) and Asia are on the right. Greenland and possibly Iceland appear at the bottom.
This map is intended to point out the possibility of a Northeast Passage to Asia, which was at the time being actively sought after by Dutch, English, and Russian navigators.
Both smaller maps, the primary title area at top center, and an Latin explanation for the map at bottom center, are surrounded by baroque strapwork style borders.
This remarkable map was published in volume six, the Orbis Antiquus , of Jan Jansson's Novus Atlas .
Bharatiya Ocean ? 

This persisted through the 16th century as increasing knowledge from the global voyages of explorers like Magellan lead to the creation of the first atlases.
The Atlantic has received its name from the Greeks, who saw it as the edge of the world, held up by the giant Atlas, but then explorers broke through to the Pacific, after sailing down south and surviving the storms of Cape Horn at the tip of South America, to come to the more peaceful seas to its north.

Explorers going north and south added the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, although geographers have argued about whether these count or not.
Different divisions have given the seven oceans that, in number at least, correspond to the seven seas of ancient Arabic and Indian legend, or four oceans, or even just one – as one geographer pointed out, if you invert the globe and look from the South Pole there is just one vast sea with three great bays that are the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

Even in this the Indian connection remains, and oddly the only threat to it might come from ultra-nationalists who believe in elevating the term Bharat over India.
They argue that this internal name should be the external one too, ignoring the long global history of the use of India.
They might want to consider how imposing this change would delight maritime minded Pakistanis since the chances of getting the world to accept the idea of a Bharatiya Ocean accepted are nil.

Links :

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Japan offers archival evidence in island territorial disputes

An aerial view of the Liancourt Rocks, called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea.
Associated Press

From WSJ by Jun Hongo

The Japanese government posted two archives online that it says bolster its case for sovereignty over islands also claimed by China and South Korea.

1861 Map of Ulleungdo

The documents, images and other records were originally held by local governments, some which were not previously available to the public, according to the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination on Territory and Sovereignty.

About 100 support Japan’s case that that Liancourt Rocks, known as Takeshima in Japanese, belong to Japan, the office said.
The islands are administered by South Korea, which refers to them as Dokdo.
Another 100 items are evidence of Japan’s rights to uninhabited islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, the office said.

China also claims sovereignty over the islands.
“The database was created to show that Japan’s claim is based on objective facts,” a government official told Japan Real Time.

Items include a document from 1903 showing records of Japanese fishermen hunting sea lions on the Liancourt Rocks, and Okinawa prefecture records from 1890 on the state of fishery at the Senkakus/Diaoyu.
The office said it is to translate parts of the database into English, and may also prepare Korean and Chinese versions.
Tokyo has said the two territories are “indisputably an inherent part of the territory of Japan in light of historical facts and based upon international law.”

This video was produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea in order to share the historical significance of the name, “East Sea,” which has been used for over 2,000 years, and legitimacy of the indication “East Sea” in accordance with resolutions of relevant international organizations based on objective historical facts.

South Korea has said on its own website that the Liancourt Rocks are “an integral part of Korea’s territory historically, geographically and under international law,” offering its own evidence.
China also calls the Senkakus/Diaoyu  “an inherent territory of China,” with the government saying there are clear historical and legal grounds supporting China’s claim to sovereignty.

Links :

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

New Zealand Linz update in the GeoGarage platform

16 nautical raster charts updated

Robot revolution: new generation of cheap drones to explore the seas

The Spotter’s sensors collect data on ocean conditions and beams the information via satellite to scientists’ laptops and smartphones

From NewsDeeply by Matthew O. Berger

Blue technologies being developed in the San Francisco Bay Area aim to give scientists and citizens low-cost tools to gather and share high-quality data on ocean conditions.

While waves that once a year become the monster swells ridden by surfers in the Mavericks surf contest roll toward the harbor of this small fishing town south of San Francisco, oceanographer Tim Janssen sits in an office a block from the sea with a handful of colleagues and two dogs.
They’re working on a small sensor-laden device he hopes to deploy by the thousands to gather data on those waves and other ocean conditions.
Called the Spotter, the yellow space capsule-shaped float is about the size of a beach ball.
Solar panels keep its batteries charged and the data gathered by its sensors is beamed via satellite to scientists’ laptops and smartphones.
The Spotter is part of an explosion of new, cheaper tools for oceanographic research, giving scientists access to more real-time data about the ocean.

“There’s no better time to have this tech revolution happen than right now,” says Douglas McCauley, a marine biologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
He also serves as a director of the Benioff Ocean Initiative, which aims to spur technological innovation to address ocean acidification, rising water temperatures, overfishing and other threats to the ocean.

The types of technologies being developed mirror terrestrial innovations – drones, autonomous vehicles, smartphones.
“Oceanographers, because of limited resources, have always tried to get by with less,” says Mark Schrope, program director of Schmidt Marine Technology Partners in San Francisco, which funds ocean technology startups.
“Whatever it is – ocean conservation, ocean data – there’s some technology on land that could really transform that area.”

The San Francisco Bay Area, home to a concentration of engineers, entrepreneurs and marine scientists, is emerging as a center of this new wave of blue technology.

On the other side of the peninsula from Silicon Valley, Janssen’s startup, Spoondrift, will start shipping its $6,000 Spotter this fall.
His ultimate vision is a constellation of data-gathering Spotters deployed across the ocean that send back a wealth of high-resolution information that can be analyzed in real time.
The current version of the Spotter gathers data on wave height, peak period, peak direction and location.

Janssen pulls up a map of a network of data-collecting buoys operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The red and yellow dots representing the buoys are clustered along the coasts.
But most of the open ocean remains a blue void.
Even closer to shore, a buoy may be the only one for miles collecting data on sea surface temperatures and wave activity.

Janssen, an oceanographer at San Francisco State University before starting Spoondrift in 2016, says marine scientists have “learned to live with very sparse data.”
“Everyone is building their own instruments but building them for themselves,” he says.
“We’re taking it one step further.”

More sensors would mean higher-resolution data on ocean acidification, surface temperatures and other marine conditions, showing how variables differ from one spot to another (or to tell you the exact conditions at your favorite surf breaks or fishing spots).
“If you want to find why, say, this coral is bleaching and that isn’t, you’ll need lots of sensors to be able to rule out temperature,” says Schrope.

Real time data access

Janssen brings up a map created by a fleet of sensors Spoondrift sent out from the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon, a notoriously choppy and unpredictable patch of water to navigate and study.
They sent out so many sensors that the data collected was sufficiently high-resolution for the team to be able to recreate a simulated imageof what the waves looked like.
Making images like that isn’t in the company’s near-term plans as it is focused on obtaining high-resolution data that can yield a complete picture of ocean surface conditions.

Easy to use and deploy

Spoondrift says the Spotter costs about a tenth of the price of weather buoy and does not require a large vessel and winch to deploy it.
The 12lb (5.4kg) device can simply be picked up and dropped into the water.

McCauley notes that his research has been hobbled by a lack of high-quality data about what’s happening physically in the habitats he studies as the cost of sensors prevents their widespread deployment.

The vastness of the ocean – covering two-thirds of the planet – means that scientists need help from both new technologies and a growing legion of smartphone-wielding citizen scientists.

To try to determine the size of giant sea bass populations, McCauley has been tracking fish based on the unique markings each individual sports.
With the help of software, his team has reviewed thousands of photos of giant sea bass posted online by recreational divers, vacationers and whoever else shares photos of big fish.
“It’s about being able to leverage the power of people and our tendencies to post what we see,” he says.

OpenROV, a Berkeley, California startup funded by Schmidt Marine Technology Partners, hopes its technology will spur many more ocean images.
The company makes a tethered “underwater drone” that streams video of life under the sea to the operator’s smartphone or tablet, which is also used to control the device.
OpenROV’s newest model, the Trident, costs $1,500 and looks like a swimming Wi-Fi router with headlights.
It can venture to depths of 328ft (100m) and hits the market in August.

OpenROV’s newest underwater drone can venture to depths of 328ft (100m).

Cofounder David Lang was working at a sailing school when the urge to explore under the waves hit him. But he and his friends couldn’t afford a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
“The technology had been around for a while, but it was expensive,” he says.
“So we started creating our own,” starting with a DIY kit and later a consumer product.
“But now we’re hearing from lots of people who actually need it,” adds Lang, including climate change researchers in Maine and biologists studying the foraging of minke whales.

A few years ago underwater videos like those taken with OpenROV’s drones would have only been affordable for a select few.
Today, they’re “within the reach of well-funded elementary schools and Girl Scouts who are really good at selling cookies,” McCauley says.

And more people taking and sharing underwater images would mean more data points for his research.
“If you think about engaging citizen scientists, you have to figure out what kind of data they would find interesting,” McCauley says.
“They’re not necessarily interested in salinity data, but are interested in photos and videos.”

These new exploration technologies are taking a ­range of forms.
A humanoid robot diver developed by a Stanford University team can spend more time at depths than would be safe for a human diver.
Autonomous ships are set to start sailing the seas in 2018.
Saildrone’s autonomous wind-powered mini-sailboats can be launched to collect a range of data.
A surfboard fin that contains a sensor leverages the amount of time surfers spend in the water to collect data on ocean salinity, pH, temperature and waves.
The wave-and-solar-powered Wave Glider made by Boeing’s Liquid Robotics can roam the world’s oceans for up to a year at a time collecting data on climate change and other conditions.

Kipp Shearman, a physical oceanographer at Oregon State University, has used the Wave Glider in his research, outfitting it with different sensors to monitor ocean-atmospheric interactions and deploying the surfboard-sized robot for long periods of time.
But he’s also noticed advances in more traditional technology.
Since 2006, he has used undersea gliders, autonomous missile-shaped capsules that can stay in the water for weeks, transmitting data back to shore.
In recent years, he’s seen onboard computing power increase, allowing the gliders to “fly” in more complex ways and avoid shipping lanes.
High-density lithium batteries now allow them to operate autonomously for about a year.
“It’s been a remarkable evolution in that technology over the last 10 years,” Shearman says.
“It’s getting us to the point where I think we’re going to see a lot more persistent observation out in the ocean.”
Shearman says his colleague Jonathan Nash recently showed him pictures taken at the base of glaciers, where it would be too dangerous to send a research ship.
Nash took the photos remotely with a motorized, autonomous kayak.

The challenge now is to make sure all this data is of sufficiently high quality to be useful and that there are adequate resources to process the information.
“If I’m out there collecting pH data with a pH sensor,” McCauley says, “I know exactly what went wrong” and can disregard suspect data or factor in margins of error or variance.
But that’s harder to do with a stream of crowd-sourced data from an array of sensors.
“If some of the sensors are good and some aren’t, for instance, that could be a real train wreck,” he says.
Care will also need to be taken to roll out the new technology in a way that doesn’t interfere with the environments it is studying.
“Drones are an amazing resource for learning about terrestrial wildlife, but if everyone has one they begin to disrupt the ecosystems they’re trying to study,” says McCauley.
“The oceans are big, but often smaller than we expect, at least the parts that we find interesting. But right now the problem is not sensor traffic.”
A nearer-term challenge is processing all the data that’s starting to come in.
“One of the great challenges now on the backend, on my side, is how to deal with that fire hose of data,” says McCauley.
“Data is only good if you can process it to get an answer out of it.”

Schrope sees a “ton of potential” to develop artificial intelligence to catalog and analyze ocean data and make it easily searchable.
That may be the next step in the blue tech revolution.

Links :

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cyber threats prompt return of radio for ship navigation

Nautical chart including Loran TD lines for ocean approaches to New York Harbor.
The chart shows TD lines, apparently for LORAN-A, which would make it the Nantucket-Chatam-Montuck-Sandy Hook-Fenwick-Bodie Is-Cape Hatteras chain.
Note that the printed TD lines do not extend into inland waterway areas, as LORAN propagates poorly over land.
The green 1000 lines curve heavily in this area.
Note the "LORAN TR" mark at the tip of Sandy Hook near the focus of the curves.
This would be Station "J" (3H5).
The ochre 4000 lines (3H4) would correspond to the TD between the master and Station "H" at Cape Hatteras.
The master station of this chain was at Sankaty Head on Nantucket, Massachussets.
The sharp angle between these sets of TD rings, especially to the east and north, would make it a poor pair for precise navigation.
Note : old map (current map without Loran hyperboles with the GeoGarage platform)

From Reuters by Jonathan Saul

The risk of cyber attacks targeting ships' satellite navigation is pushing nations to delve back through history and develop back-up systems with roots in World War Two radio technology.

Ships use GPS (Global Positioning System) and other similar devices that rely on sending and receiving satellite signals, which many experts say are vulnerable to jamming by hackers.

About 90 percent of world trade is transported by sea and the stakes are high in increasingly crowded shipping lanes.
Unlike aircraft, ships lack a back-up navigation system and if their GPS ceases to function, they risk running aground or colliding with other vessel

South Korea is developing an alternative system using an earth-based navigation technology known as eLoran, while the United States is planning to follow suit.
Britain and Russia have also explored adopting versions of the technology, which works on radio signals.

The drive follows a series of disruptions to shipping navigation systems in recent months and years.
It was not clear if they involved deliberate attacks; navigation specialists say solar weather effects can also lead to satellite signal loss.

Last year, South Korea said hundreds of fishing vessels had returned early to port after their GPS signals were jammed by hackers from North Korea, which denied responsibility.

In June this year, a ship in the Black Sea reported to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center that its GPS system had been disrupted and that over 20 ships in the same area had been similarly affected.
U.S. Coast Guard officials also said interference with ships' GPS disrupted operations at a port for several hours in 2014 and at another terminal in 2015. It did not name the ports.

A cyber attack that hit A.P. Moller-Maersk's IT systems in June 2017 and made global headlines did not involve navigation but underscored the threat hackers pose to the technology dependent and inter-connected shipping industry. It disrupted port operations across the world.

The eLoran push is being led by governments who see it as a means of protecting their national security.
Significant investments would be needed to build a network of transmitter stations to give signal coverage, or to upgrade existing ones dating back decades when radio navigation was standard.

U.S. engineer Brad Parkinson, known as the "father of GPS" and its chief developer, is among those who have supported the deployment of eLoran as a back-up.

"ELoran is only two-dimensional, regional, and not as accurate, but it offers a powerful signal at an entirely different frequency," Parkinson told Reuters.
"It is a deterrent to deliberate jamming or spoofing (giving wrong positions), since such hostile activities can be rendered ineffective," said Parkinson, a retired U.S. airforce colonel.

 This is the way we used to find our way around.

Korean stations

Cyber specialists say the problem with GPS and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is their weak signals, which are transmitted from 12,500 miles above the Earth and can be disrupted with cheap jamming devices that are widely available.

Developers of eLoran - the descendant of the loran (long-range navigation) system created during World War II - say it is difficult to jam as the average signal is an estimated 1.3 million times stronger than a GPS signal.
To do so would require a powerful transmitter, large antenna and lots of power, which would be easy to detect, they add.

Shipping and security officials say the cyber threat has grown steadily over the past decade as vessels have switched increasingly to satellite systems and paper charts have largely disappeared due to a loss of traditional skills among seafarers.
"My own view, and it is only my view, is we are too dependent on GNSS/GPS position fixing systems," said Grant Laversuch, head of safety management at P&O Ferries.
"Good navigation is about cross-checking navigation systems, and what better way than having two independent electronic systems."

Lee Byeong-gon, an official at South Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, said the government was working on establishing three sites for eLoran test operations by 2019 with further ones to follow after that.
But he said South Korea was contending with concerns from local residents at Gangwha Island, off the west coast.
"The government needs to secure a 40,000 pyeong (132,200 square-meter) site for a transmitting station, but the residents on the island are strongly opposed to having the 122 to 137 meter-high antenna," Lee told Reuters.

In July, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill which included provisions for the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to establish an eLoran system.
"This bill will now go over to the Senate and we hope it will be written into law," said Dana Goward, president of the U.S. non-profit Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, which supports the deployment of eLoran.
"We don't see any problems with the President (Donald Trump) signing off on this provision."
The previous administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both pledged to establish eLoran but never followed through.
However, this time there is more momentum.
In May, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats told a Senate committee the global threat of electronic warfare attacks against space systems would rise in coming years.
"Development will very likely focus on jamming capabilities against ... Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS)," he said.

 Differential eLoran operation concept
(graphic courtesy Ursanav).

Spoofing dangers

Russia has looked to establish a version of eLoran called eChayka, aimed at the Arctic region as sea lanes open up there, but the project has stalled for now.
"It is obvious that we need such a system," said Vasily Redkozubov, deputy director general of Russia's Internavigation Research and Technical Centre.
"But there are other challenges apart from eChayka, and (Russia has) not so many financial opportunities at the moment."

Cost is a big issue for many countries.
Some European officials also say their own satellite system Galileo is more resistant to jamming than other receivers.
But many navigation technology experts say the system is hackable.
"Galileo can help, particularly with spoofing, but it is also a very weak signal at similar frequencies," said Parkinson.

 The red track is based on raw eLoran data without any corrections.
The transparent blue line is made by GPS-RTK and is widened to 10 meters giving the required ± 5 meter limits of eDLoran.
The white line is output from the eDLoran receiver which stays within the borders of the 10 meter wide transparent blue line.
source : GPSworld

The reluctance of many countries to commit to a back-up means there is little chance of unified radio coverage globally for many years at least, and instead disparate areas of cover including across some national territories and shared waterways.

The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland had conducted trials of eLoran but the initiative was pulled after failing to garner interest from European countries whose transmitters were needed to create a signal network.
France, Denmark, Norway and Germany have all decided to turn off or dismantle their old radio transmitter stations.
Britain is maintaining a single eLoran transmitter in northern England.

Taviga, a British-U.S. company, is looking to commercially operate an eLoran network, which would provide positioning, navigation and timing (PNT).
"There would need to be at least one other transmitter probably on the UK mainland for a timing service," said co-founder Charles Curry, adding that the firm would need the British government to commit to using the technology.

Andy Proctor, innovation lead for satellite navigation and PNT with Innovate UK, the government's innovation agency, said: "We would consider supporting a commercially run and operated service, which we may or may not buy into as a customer."
Current government policy was "not to run large operational pieces of infrastructure like an eLoran system", he added.

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