Monday, February 02, 2009

GLONASS coverage of Russia, constant

From a press release: The GLONASS satellite navigation signal is again constant throughout Russia, a source at the Central Machine Building Research Institute said. "As of January 30, the GLONASS network has had 20 satellites, including 18 operative, one connecting to the system and one under maintenance," the source said.

Eighteen operative satellites are necessary for GLONASS coverage of whole Russia, and 24 for coverage of the whole world. Earlier, the State Duma passed a GLONASS law. "This is the first Russian law on satellite navigation, which defines main notions, rights and duties of network users," State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said. The law suggests equipment of armaments, military hardware and transport with Russian-made satellite navigation gadgets "in order to raise the defense potential and security of Russia and to upgrade transportation management and security of passenger and cargo traffic."

The government will supervise the use of the GLONASS cluster, and a federal GLONASS operator will be formed. Individuals are permitted to use GLONASS services throughout the national territory with the exception of restricted areas. "GLONASS services will be given to individuals for free and without limits," the law says.

It is planned to spend 9.4 billion rubles on the supply of satellite navigation gadgets to the Defense Ministry in 2011-2015 under the state armament programme. Other governmental agencies may need 46,000 GLONASS navigation sets and 600 reference stations. The expenditures may near 3.5 billion rubles.

GLONASS is a radio-based satellite navigation system, developed by the former Soviet Union and now operated by the Russian Space Forces. It is an alternative and complementary to the United States' Global Positioning System (GPS) and the planned Galileo positioning system of the European Union (EU).

Development on GLONASS began in 1976, with a goal of global coverage by 1991. A fully operational GLONASS constellation consists of 24 satellites, with 21 used for transmitting signals and three for on-orbit spares, deployed in three orbital planes.


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