A maritime navigation system that originated in the United States, and has later spread to the rest of the world. It is based on a system of earthbound transmitters (stations), which encode time codes in powerful radio pulses in the 100 kHz band. When a Loran C receiver on board a ship can receive pulses from 3 different stations, it is able to calculate the distance from them, and thus the ship's position, down to an accuracy of about 50 metres.

It is believed that it is on its way to be superseded by GPS, a navigation system using the same basic principle, only with satellites instead of earth-based stations, but it is still in widespread use, at least as a backup solution. This is because the Loran C system has slightly less downtime than GPS has.

Loran is an acronym for Long Range Navigation. The C is a kind of version number. Loran A was the predecessor of Loran C, and was less accurate. Loran B, Loran D and Loran F were used only for U.S. military purposes; Loran E was planned, but never made it to the drawing board.

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