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© 2017 Ian Watts

...the company name created for Nav-Trax and now run here in France

Back in 2000 I was casually asked, by an ex-colleague, how difficult it would be to develop a secure, remote platform, GPS tracking solution. It transpired that the Royal Navy required a solution to track the position of military vessels to centimetre level accuracy and that this positional data (along with other status and system health information) should be received and displayed, real-time, at a remote control centre, once per second. This was to be for noise and weapons trials ranges throughout the UK, starting with the Scottish ranges.

GPS was still pretty new at the time (well, to the general public it was). It was slowly being adopted as a Loran and Decca replacement but I'd seen its inception whilst in the Navy and subsequently its inroads into the commercial and leisure markets in my day-to-day work with New World Yacht Care.

It seemed pretty simple when broken down. Surely all that was required was a good quality GPS, a couple of transmitter/receiver pairs, some power source and a PC running a dedicated application. In fact it was anything but simple when one thought of it as a final solution but, when broken down into its various 'parts', I believed that it became 'do-able'...

At that time the people in charge of the project knew of me - we had some history, if you like, from the submarine service - and, contractually, the world was definitely simpler then (or so it seems to me, looking back). I quoted DERA (UK government's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency) and they, in turn, agreed to fund the development and first-fit of the project which became 'Nav-Trax'.

I had recently sold New World Yacht Care, the company I set up upon leaving the Royal Navy back in the '90's, to service the ever growing number of yachts, ferries and HM Customs and Excise vessels in the area so was, time-wise, free to create a new company, 'EireTech', to parent the growing Nav-Trax project. And that's what happened... 

When we moved to France, EireTech moved with us.